Bengaluru: Professor Rohini Godbole, a particle physicist at the Center for High Energy Physics, Indian Institute of Science, who has been tasked with working on the International Linear Collider, describes Peter Higgs being awarded the Nobel Prize as "one of the greatest things to happen to theoretical physics."
"It says a lot for theoretical physicists across the world because this is the first time the existence of a particle was proved through pure theoretical consideration," she said. The International Linear Collider has largely been described as the biggest thing to happen to particle Physics since its predecessor, the Large Hadron Collider.
Professor Godbole, founder of the ILC India Forum has been instrumental in cementing India's role in a project that will go down in history, in the world of High Energy Physics. DC carried a report on the ILC and Professor Godbole's role in it on Tuesday, October 8, 2013.
Professor Godbole met Peter Higgs at CERN, Geneva on July 4, 2012, the day scientists found a particle that resembled the Higgs Boson.
“I was delivering a series of lectures on it and coincidentally, my first lecture was on July 4," she said. In all likelihood, she was one of the first to deliver a lecture after the particle was discovered.
"We met briefly and discussed how Physics has evolved over the years,” she said. “Peter Higgs made his discovery in the 1960s and it almost seemed redundant to talk to him about his work because it is so well known, it is textbook material now."
The Higgs Boson, she said, is the proverbial missing link. "It is easily one of the most important discoveries of the 20th century," she remarked, "And it was achieved purely through Mathematics. It demonstrates the strength of Mathematics in Physics. He has explained why force carriers of weak interactions have mass, when the symmetries controlling their interactions should require them to be massless."
Professor Amol Dighe, particle physicist at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and recipient of the prestigious Swarup Bhatnagar Award, 2013, said Peter Higgs winning the Nobel Prize is very good news for High Energy physics. "Experiments have proved something theorists had predicted many years ago. The vision and foresight that Peter Higgs showed, gives you confidence in theories," he said.
Peter Higgs, he said, loves the idea of the International Linear Collider. “The ILC is the biggest thing to happen to particle physics since the Large Hadron Collider. Although we're sure that the LHC has found a Higgs Boson, we still aren't sure if it is the actual one.
Future experiments are necessary at this point, for which we need something like the ILC, which can look at the properties of the Higgs Boson in much greater detail.” The Large Hadron Collider, he says, has Hadrons colliding with each other, while the ILC will collide electrons.