Peter Higgs – His scientific legacy will continue to inspire curious minds

April 2024

The Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS) mourns the loss of a dear friend and scientific giant, Peter Higgs. While best known for his groundbreaking theory of the Higgs boson, often nicknamed the ‘God particle’, Peter’s impact extended far beyond the realm of theoretical physics.


Peter’s work ignited a passion for science in countless young minds. His ability to explain complex theories in a clear and engaging way sparked a sense of wonder about the universe’s fundamental building blocks amongst many thousands of young people. This resonated deeply with IRIS’s mission of fostering research within schools, and we were honoured and delighted to have Peter as a supporter of our work as part of our Higgs Hunter project.


His legacy lives on within IRIS, not just through the countless students he inspired, but also in the ongoing pursuit of scientific discovery. The work championed by IRIS in particle physics has found a new frontier in Big Data: ATLAS. This project delves into the massive datasets produced by particle colliders. It teaches students how to analyse and interpret the data that proved the existence of the Higgs boson. In many ways, ATLAS represents the continuation of the spark ignited by Peter’s groundbreaking work.


Peter Higgs’ life serves as a testament to the power of scientific exploration and the importance of sharing its wonders with future generations. He will be deeply missed, but his legacy will continue to illuminate the path for young scientists to come.


Young people unravel the mysteries of the Universe and find evidence of the Higgs boson.


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We’d like a future where every young person experiences authentic research in school. 


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