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Higgs: Edinburgh Award is a great surprise

24 February 2012 Last updated at 20:27 GMT

One of the world's most influential physicists, Professor Peter Higgs, who rarely gives interviews, has spoken to the BBC about his achievements.

He decided to give the interview to mark the occasion of receiving the 2011 Edinburgh Award, which honours individuals who have had a significant impact on the city and brought it to prominence.

In the 1960s, when Professor Higgs lectured at Edinburgh University, he proposed the existence of a sub-atomic particle which, in theory, gives other fundamental particles their mass.

This became known as the Higgs boson.