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BBC Radio profiles the man behind the boson

By Hamish Johnston

One of my favourite programmes on BBC Radio 4 is Profile, which presents bang-up-to-date biographies of people in the news.

Recent subjects have been as varied as the American politician Newt Gingrich, when he announced his interest in the Republican presidential nomination, and the singer Ian Brown, when he and his band members announced a Stone Roses reunion.

On Saturday it was the turn of Peter Higgs, famous for the eponymous boson that he predicted back in the 1960s. Last week physicists at the Large Hadron Collider caught what may turn out to be the first glimpse of the Higgs boson, inspiring Radio Four to profile its namesake.

The story begins with Higgs’ school days in Bristol, where he was at the same grammar school as Paul Dirac – although separated by about 30 years. The story goes that Higgs became fascinated with the work of his school’s Nobel-winning alumnus, sparking a lifetime love of theoretical physics.

You can listen to the biography here.

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