iPlayer Radio What's New?
On Now : Front Row
Magic in the Moonlight; Constable at the V&A; Ballyturk
Image for Peter Higgs

Listen now 14 mins

Listen in pop-out player

Peter Higgs

14 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 17 December 2011

Profile this week looks at the physicist Peter Higgs who in the 1960s predicted the existence of the so-called "God Particle" which scientists think they glimpsed at CERN this week.

The Higgs boson - which has so excited the scientific community this week - is a subatomic particle which gives mass to all matter and the quest to find it has been described as the holy grail of physics.

Peter Higgs made his prediction in the mid-1960s when he was a relatively young scientist, adding a crucial element to the Standard Model of the universe. At the time the significance of his work was not widely recognised or understood, and one leading scientific journal even turned down one of his early papers setting out his groundbreaking theory.

Higgs, now in his 80s, is very much a theoretical scientist. Colleagues say he has never excelled at practical experiments, and to this day he doesn't get on with computers.

What kind of man is he? Samira Ahmed talks to those who know the scientist, and asks what makes him tick.

Ben Crighton and Arlene Gregorius.

  • Andre Geim

    Exploring the life of one of Britain's most unusual scientists.

  • Physics on Radio 4

    Physics on Radio 4

    Explore our archive of related programmes from In Our Time and Material World to the Infinite Monkey Cage and Physics Rocks.

    Explore Radio 4's Physics archive


Featured in...

The Best of Profile


Find out more about the people making the news headlines


  1. Image for Profile


    Series of profiles of people who are currently making headlines. Broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss