Words matter. These are the best Peter Higgs Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
The Nobel Prize has been a disturbance at the beginning of October for some years. It would be gratifying to win, but it would be quite an ordeal, too, with all the events which go on for two days. I’d think carefully about what I was doing the day it is announced and maybe not be around, or be around, but elsewhere.
After I retired, it was quite a long time before I went back to my department. I thought I was well out of it.
I’m a fan of supersymmetry, largely because it seems to be the only route by which gravity can be brought into the scheme. It’s probably not even enough, but it’s a way forward to get gravity involved. If you have supersymmetry, then there are more of these particles. That would be my favourite outcome.
I can only speak for particle physics. But it has become obvious that on the experimental side, there has been a huge evolution in the number of people who have to collaborate because of the gigantic size of the instruments used, but also because of the enormous task that is data analysis.
One of the first things I did on arriving at school was to break my left arm falling into a bomb crater.
The point came when people were doing things I didn’t feel competent to do myself. I’m not being modest; I honestly get lost. I was lucky in spotting what I did when I did, but there comes a point where you realise what you’re doing is not going to be much good.
When the basic status of a theory is clear, and all that needs to be cleared are details, you can collaborate. But if the main structure of a hypothesis isn’t established, and you want to change the paradigm – like it was the case in the 1960s – it’s better to work alone.
The growth of our understanding of the world through science weakens some of the motivation which makes people believers. But that’s not the same thing as saying they’re incompatible. It’s just that I think some of the traditional reasons for belief, going back thousands of years, are rather undermined.
Nobody else took what I was doing seriously, so nobody would want to work with me. I was thought to be a bit eccentric and maybe cranky.
The model I came up with in 1964 is just the invention of a rather strange sort of medium that looks the same in all directions and produces a kind of refraction that is a little bit more complicated than that of light in glass or water.
I’m rather cynical about the way the honours system is used, frankly. A whole lot of the honours system is used for political purposes by the government in power.
I was an embarrassment to the department when they did research assessment exercises. A message would go round the department: ‘Please give a list of your recent publications.’ And I would send back a statement: ‘None.’
I don’t regard television as the outside world. I regard it as an artefact.
Edinburgh is my adopted home. It’s a place where I wanted to come and live, and I managed to arrange my life so it happened.
It’s nice to be right sometimes.
The first interview I gave to the press was in 1987 when some people thought a previous machine at Cern, called LEP, might have enough energy to produce the particle.
I was already, I think, at the age of 18, showing signs of being incompetent in the lab.
If the U.K. were threatening to withdraw from Europe, I would certainly want Scotland to be out of that.
My recollection of the higher school certificate, which involved a practical exam in physics, was being confronted with an experiment involving a sort of barometer arrangement, wondering why I couldn’t make it work.
When my wife and I got married, she thought of me being an easygoing person, and I warned her I wasn’t.