Higgs history: watch a timeline of boson theory and discovery at Imperial


LHC artwork

Read, watch and listen to commentary on life at the Large Hadron Collider and the hunt for the Higgs boson from Imperial's news archives.


A research paper written by Professor Tom Kibble and two American colleagues is one of a number of theoretical works which predicted the existence of a particle with physical properties like the Higgs boson. In 2008, "Global conservation laws and massless particles" was selected as one of the most important papers of the last 50 years by the leading journal Physical Review Letters.

Professor Kibble explains why this important piece of research led to the creation of a new particle accelerator to hunt for this particle.

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December 1996

Obituary of Nobel Laureate Emeritus Prof Abdus Salam, written by Tom Kibble who worked for some time in the research group led by Salam.

December 2006

Researchers from Imperial's High Energy Physics group are working on the construction of the CMS particle detector, one of two massive experiments at the Large Hadron Collider that are designed to find evidence of a Higgs boson.

Watch a video from the underground caverns of CERN with Professors Tejinder Virdee, Geoff Hall, Peter Knight and Jordan Nash talking about their experiences.

April 2007

Work starts on the British section of the powerful computing grid needed to analyse data collected at the LHC after being awarded GBP 30 million of public funding.

November 2007

Professor Tejinder Virdee delivers the prestigious Schrodinger Lecture entitled Discovering the Quantum Universe and talks to the Imperial College Podcast on what the biggest experiment on Earth can tell us about the building blocks of the universe.

June 2008

Imperial physicist's ground breaking work in 1964 has been selected as one of the most important papers of the last 50 years by the leading journal Physical Review Letters.

August 2008

Scientists working at the American Tevatron particle accelerator observe extremely rare pairs of Z bosons, an event they say could be a big step towards observing the Higgs boson.

September 2008

After over 20 years of design, development and construction, the LHC is switched on. Scientists start circulating the first protons around the 27km underground tunnel, read Dr Tom Whyntie's report from the CMS Control Centre.

October 2008

Professor Jordan Nash explains to the Imperial College Podcast what the LHC will tell us about the universe.

July 2009

Artist Mark Tovell lends the Imperial a piece of art representing the higgs boson. The computer image of what the Higgs boson could look like resided in the Central Library for six months.

October 2009

Professor Tom Kibble has been jointly awarded the J.J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics by the American Physical Society,– one of the most prestigious international prizes in physics - along with Peter Higgs of Edinburgh and four other leading scientists.

February 2010

Scientists have published their first set of results from the CMS experiment. Watch a special interview with Professors Tejinder Virdee and Geoff Hall about their future hopes for the research.

August 2010

Tevatron scientists rule out a quarter of the allowed mass range for the Higgs Boson, narrowing of the search range improves the chances of identifying the particle.

June 2011

Professor Tejinder Virdee takes part in a debate at the Cheltenham Science Festival, arguing that the LHC might be considered the greatest scientific achievement of the last 10 years, Imperial College Podcast reports from the Festival.

December 2011

Scientists at Atlas and CMS, the LHC's two major experiments, report coinciding evidence for the existence of the Higgs boson, Dr Jonathan Hays and Professor Jerome Gauntlett discuss these results. Also read Dr Tom Whyntie's comments in the Daily Telegraph and Imperial student blogger Reuben's analysis of the announcement.

January 2012

Professor Jordan Nash returns to the Imperial College Podcast to talks about why he's keeping the Champagne on ice, despite December's results.

May 2012

Professor Tejinder Virdee addresses an audience of distinguished scientists in London, discussing the current data and outlook as well as the importance of fundamental research and the challenges facing LHC scientists at the Peter Lindsay Lecture. Listen to an interview with him on BBC Radio 4's The Life Scientific.

July 2012

Scientists at the Tevatron announce further signals of the Higgs boson on 2 July and LHC scientists make an announcement on 4 July.

Professor Tom Kibble is awarded the Royal Medal, one of the most prestigious awards from the UK's national science academy, the Royal Society

December 2012

Imperial physicists are among seven who received a share of $3 million in a new prize from the Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation. Professor Jim Virdee, Visiting Professor Dr Lyn Evans FRS and Senior Research Investigator Dr Michel Della Negra all played prominent parts in building the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator at CERN.

March 2013

Latest results from the Large Hadron Collider further reinforce that the particle discovered last year is a Higgs boson. Scientists are more than 99.999 per cent certain.

Imperial marks pioneering physicist Tom Kibble's 80th birthday with a guest lecture from Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg.

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May 2013

Two Imperial physicists, Professor Jim Virdee and Dr Michel Della Negra won a prestigious High Energy Physics prize, from the European Physical Society, for masterminding the particle detectors at CERN.

July 2013

Professor Tom Kibble is one of five leading academics from Imperial's Department of Physics who won a 2013 Institute of Physics award, becoming an honorary member of the Institute.

August 2013

Professor Tom Kibble is one of three scientists celebrated with an award named after Paul Dirac, 'one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century'. The Dirac Medal is given by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Italy.

October 2013

Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to british scientists Peter Higgs and belgian Francois Englert for work that led to the concept of the Higgs boson. Their research along with that of Imperial's Professor Tom Kibble proved a key feature of the standard model of particle physics.

Watch Channel 4 News report from Imperial College London on the day of the Nobel Prize announcement, which includes an interview with Tom Kibble from the Blackett Laboratory.

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Follow the links in the sidebar to read more about the hunt for the Higgs boson.



Simon Levey

Simon Levey
The Grantham Institute for Climate Change

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 5650
Email: s.levey@imperial.ac.uk

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