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Higgs boson wins scientists Nobel Prize in physics

By Andrew Grant and Gabriel Popkin

The ATLAS collaboration spotted the Higgs boson by its decay products, which are illustrated above by four red lines that represent muons.

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The 1964 prediction of the Higgs boson, which was finally confirmed last year, has won the Nobel Prize in physics.

By identifying the Higgs particle, physicists confirmed the existence of a field that permeates the cosmos and gives mass to certain elementary particles that make up stars, planets and people. The discovery also completed the standard model, which describes the universe's particles and forces, except gravity.

Physicists Peter Higgs of the University of Edinburgh in the UK and François Englert of the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium will share the prize for predicting the pivotal field and its associated particle in separate 1964 papers in Physical Review Letters.

Technology needed a half-century to catch up to their theory. On July 4, 2012, two teams at the Large Hadron Collider, the world's most powerful particle accelerator, announced that they had discovered the elusive particle.

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