In The Field

APS 2010: The missing BEHHGK boson

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Maybe Peter Higgs shouldn’t have stayed home. The 80 year old Scottish physicist, famous for the elusive mass-conferring particle named after him, didn’t make it to APS on Monday, when he was supposed to receive the Sakurai Prize along with five other theorists who played important roles in developing the theories that predict the particle.

His absence — or perhaps the elevation of the five others involved in the prize — seems to be affecting the way that physicists talk about the particle. Rob Roser of Fermilab gave a talk this morning about how the Tevatron still has time to discover the Higgs boson before the LHC really gets going. And sometimes Roser called it the Higgs. But he also referred to it as the “BEHHGK Boson” — Roser pronounces it “Beck” — for Brout, Englert, Higgs, Hagen, Guralnik, and Kibble, the six men receiving the prize. Doesn’t quite trip off the tongue, does it?

Allright folks, that’s it for me this year. I had a great time re-connecting with a bunch of physicists, and I look forward to doing the same next year in a warmer climate: Anaheim, California.

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