Nobel prize winner: Research is my passion

Updated: 2013-10-09 19:59


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Nobel prize winner: Research is my passion

Belgian physicist Francois Englert reacts as he appears at the balcony of his house in Brussels October 8, 2013, after he and Britain's Peter Higgs won the 2013 Nobel prize for physics. The two scientists won the prize for predicting the existence of the Higgs boson - the particle key to explaining why elementary matter has mass - the award-giving body said on Oct 8.[Photo.Agencies]

BRUSSELS -- "Research is my passion," said Tuesday Professor Francois Englaert of the Free University of Brussels during the press conference, after learning that he is co-winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics with the British physicist Peter Higgs.

Francois Englaert, 81 years old, and Peter Higgs, 84, are the first to describe independently in 1964 the existence of a scalar boson, an elementary particle dubbed "the God particle" and giving the mass to the rest of elementary particles.

During the press conference, Englaert, wearing red sweater, did not hide his joy. He attributed his achievement in physics to his excellence in mathematics.

"Research is my passion," said Englaert. He revealed that he was making "the best of banal toasts", at the announcement of the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Englaert regretted several times the death two years ago of Robert Brout, his "best friend and collaborator" in research on the scalar boson. He said that his honor had a contribution of Robert Brout.

Born in Brussels, Englert earned a doctorate in physics at the ULB in 1958 and then went to Cornell University in the United States. He came back at the university in 1961 and worked there until today.

Answering a question asked by a local journalist, Englaert said he has not thought about how to spend the Nobel Prize cash award. Neither life nor research will change, with such a large sum, he said.

The Nobel Prize in physics is considered by many to be the most prestigious award of its kind, and comes with an 8-million Swedish kronor ($1.25 million) cash award.

Englaert is the sixth Nobel Prize winner in Belgium and the fourth at the ULB.

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