A joint Fermilab/SLAC publication

Higgs turning up everywhere, this time in paint

03/04/09
The portrait of Peter Higgs is on display at Edinburgh University's School of Informatics. Photograph: Ken Currie

The portrait of Peter Higgs is on display at the University of Edinburgh's School of Informatics. Photograph: Ken Currie

It seems that Peter Higgs, despite his known aversion to publicity is turning up everywhere. Of course the potential discovery of the particle in the next few years by either/both of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and the Tevatron at Fermilab is bringing a lot more attention to him, and a little to the other theorists, such as  Guralnik, Hagen, Kibble, Brout, and Englert, who also developed the ideas behind a mass-giving spontaneously symmetry broken quantum field and its manifestation as a particle, now known as the Higgs boson. (Yep, that sounds scary because it gets technical.)

But Higgs the man seems to turn up in all kinds of places and lots of people have stories about where and how they met the man. I ran into him in at a function in a museum in the Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow over a decade ago, while Lauren, one of the symmetry interns, used to make him his sandwich in a cafe most days when she spent time in Glasgow. (Tell us your story of meeting Higgs in the comments below.)

Now the man has appeared in a different way in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, but in the form of a painting by one of Scotland's best-known artists, Ken Currie. The painting has Currie's distinguishing ethereal style Currie but, from what I can tell of low-res photographs, it seems a lot cheerier than most of his work. I think it's a great piece with a lot of information packed into the painting for those who know a little about the Higgs particle. I'm keen to hear what you think of it so let me know in the comments.

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