Nobel Prize: U-M experts can discuss Higgs discovery

October 8, 2013

ANN ARBOR—University of Michigan physicists who contributed to the discovery of the Higgs boson are available to comment on the Nobel Prize in physics, which the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded today to theorists Peter Higgs and Francois Englert.

In the 1960s, Higgs and Englert published papers that introduced key concepts in the theory of the Higgs field and its associated particle, the Higgs boson. U-M researchers, as part of an international collaboration at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Europe, played an integral role in confirming that theory and discovering the Higgs boson in 2012. Over the past 25 years, more than 100 U-M researchers have been involved in aspects of the Large Hadron Collider and Higgs experiments.

U-M faculty available to comment are:

Jianming Qian, professor of physics, who was involved in the discovery of Higgs. In May 2012, he predicted the particle would be discovered that year. “The discovery is the fruit of a half-century’s research effort, a triumph of human ingenuity and a vindication of global collaboration. It bodes well for future large scientific endeavors,” Qian said. Reach him at (734) 936-1033 or at

Bing Zhou, professor of physics, led the development and construction of the muon detectors on the ATLAS particle detector on the collider. ATLAS was one of two particle detectors used to discover the Higgs. Reach her at (734) 647-3760 or at

Gordon Kane, the Victor Weisskopf Distinguished University Professor of Physics, is a theoretical physicist who wrote the Higgs Hunter’s Guide in 1989. Kane discusses the Higgs boson and the significance of its discovery in this video: Reach him at (734) 764-4451 or

Junjie Zhu, assistant professor of physics, was involved in the testing and commissioning of a major component of the muon detectors on the ATLAS particle detector. “The awarding of this year’s Nobel prize for the Higgs boson discovery is also a great recognition of the experimental work done at CERN,” Zhu said. Reach him at (734) 647-7201 or at