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Peter Higgs, François Englert and European Organization for Nuclear Research CERN

Prince of Asturias Award for Technical & Scientific Research 2013

At its meeting in Oviedo, the Jury for the 2013 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research, made up of Mr Juan Luis Arsuaga Ferreras, Mr Juan  Ignacio Cirac Sasturáin, Mr Luis Fernández-Vega Sanz, Ms Cristina Garmendia Mendizábal, Ms María del Rosario Heras Celemín, Mr Bernardo Hernández González, Mr Emilio Lora-Tamayo D’ocón, Mr José Antonio Martínez Álvarez, Mr Amador Menéndez Velázquez, Ms María Teresa Miras Portugal, Mr Ginés Morata Pérez, Mr Enrique Moreno González, Mr César Nombela Cano, Mr Eduardo Punset Casals, Ms Marta Sanz-Solé, Mr Manuel Toharia Cortés, chaired by Mr Pedro Miguel Echenique Landiríbar and with Mr Vicente Gotor Santamaría acting as secretary, have unanimously decided to bestow the 2013 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research jointly on physicists Peter Higgs (UK) and François Englert (Belgium) and the international institution CERN, the European Laboratory of Particle Physics, for the theoretical prediction and experimental detection of the Higgs boson.

In 1964, the pioneering work of Higgs and of Englert and Brout (the latter died in 2011) established the theoretical basis for the existence of the so-called Higgs boson. This particle completes the Standard Model, which describes the fundamental components of Nature, and is responsible for certain elementary particles possessing mass. For nearly half a century, efforts to find the Higgs boson were unsuccessful due to the enormous experimental difficulties associated with its precise and unequivocal detection. The Higgs boson was finally identified in 2012 by the ATLAS and CMS detectors of the LHC particle accelerator at CERN, a milestone for the entire scientific community.

The discovery of the Higgs boson is a prime example of how Europe has led a collective effort to solve one of the deepest mysteries of physics.

Oviedo, 29th May 2013 

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