JERUSALEM (JTA) — Francois Englert, a Belgian Jewish professor at Tel Aviv University and a Holocaust survivor, shared the Nobel Prize in physics.
The prize for Englert and Peter Higgs of Britain for their discovery of the Higgs particle was announced Tuesday.
The announcement was delayed for an hour. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which decides the winners in a majority vote on the day of the announcement, said it was still in session at the time set for the announcement.
Englert, 80, has had “close research ties” with Tel Aviv University for 30 years, the university said. He is a Sackler professor by special appointment at its School of Physics and Astronomy.
The Higgs particle, known as the “God particle,” is said to have caused the Big Bang. Scientists confirmed the discovery of the Higgs particle, or Higgs boson, which Higgs first theorized in 1964, while working with the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland.
In 2004, Englert, Higgs and Robert Brout won Israel’s Wolf Prize, which is seen as a stepping-stone to the Nobel.
On Monday, Jewish Americans James Rothman of Yale University and Randy Schekman of the University of California, Berkeley, joined German-born researcher Thomas Suedhof of Stanford University in winning the Nobel Prize in medicine for their research on “vesicle traffic” — how proteins and other materials are transported within cells.