College of Science & Engineering

90th birthday celebrations for Professor Peter Higgs

Professor Peter Higgs will celebrate his 90th birthday in May this year, and the School of Physics and Astronomy is planning a year of special events to mark this occasion.

The special events, organised by the School of Physics and Astronomy, are aimed at scientists, current students, alumni and the wider public.

Hosted events

The School kicked off the series of events in January with a public talk by Professor Nima Arkani-Hamed, who is the renowned Professor of Physics at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA and is the Director of the Center for Future High Energy Physics, Beijing, China. This spectacular talk entitled “The End of Spacetime” challenged a number of standard physics principles.

At the end of January, the first “Beyond the Lab” event was hosted, bringing together leading researchers and experts from industry.  The event enabled valuable connections to be established and paved the way for future collaboration. It was held at The Higgs Centre for Innovation, which was established by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the University of Edinburgh after the discovery of the Higgs Boson in 2012. 

The inaugural “Higgs Lecture” was held in March, which was made possible through the generous support of Walter Nimmo.  A varied audience, from school pupils to senior professors heard from speaker Professor Gian Giudice, head of the Theory Group at CERN and prize-winning author. 

Birthday card competition

The School is currently running a birthday card competition, open to all nursery and primary school children in Scotland.  Studies show that children make up their minds about which subjects they like and dislike at a very young age, and through this competition we hope to raise awareness of physics and build on the local connection to Peter Higgs. 

Entries will be judged by: Suzanne Higgs, local artist and Peter Higgs’ daughter-in-law; Christophe Englert, particle physicist and childrens’ author; and Lily Asquith, particle physicist and outreach expert. 

The competition deadline is 15 May 2019.

Further information on the birthday card competition

Future events

We have a variety of further events planned for the rest of the year including an alumni event in the summer, a day of celebration at the end of September and a poster competition for secondary school pupils.

Peter Higgs at 90 - Event Series

Related links

Peer Higgs and the Higgs Boson

School of Physics & Astronomy

Higgs Centre for Theoretical Physics