Newswise — DETROIT — The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences today announced the Nobel Prize in physics to theorists Peter Higgs and Francois Englert to recognize their work developing the theory of what is now known as the Higgs field, which gives elementary particles mass.

Scientists estimate that visible matter makes up no more than four percent of the total mass of the universe, and the long-sought Higgs boson particle could be a bridge to understanding the 96 percent that remains obscured. A team of Wayne State University researchers led by Paul Karchin, Ph.D., and Robert Harr, Ph.D., professors of physics, are members of the CMS experiment who played a significant role in the experimental aspects of the discovery. Alexey Petrov, Ph.D., professor of physics and Gil Paz, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics, are particle theorists who studied theoretical aspects related to properties of standard and non-standard Higgs bosons.

The Higgs boson at CERN was the culmination of decades of effort by scientists around the world. The Wayne State team helped ensure the 24/7 operation of the experiment and analyzing data at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois, and on Wayne State’s campus.

The four Wayne State researchers are available for comments and interviews regarding the Nobel Prize announcement.

# # #

Wayne State University is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research institutions in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit

Register for reporter access to contact details