Two physicists won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics for their theories 50 years ago on the Brout-Englert-Higgs field and its particle, the Higgs boson, which scientists reported discovering last year.
Without this mechanism, physicists say, subatomic particles would ping around the universe at the speed of light without interacting and forming atoms and molecules, the building-blocks of matter.
In announcing the award on Tuesday, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences cited Drs. Englert and Higgs for their work on what has become known as the Brout-Englert-Higgs field and its related particle, the Higgs boson.
In 1964, Englert and his colleague, the late Robert Brout, proposed that space was permeated by a field that imparted mass to particles moving through it. A particle's mass depended on how strongly it interacted with this field – the stronger the interaction, the more massive the particle.
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