Italians toast contribution to Nobel-winning research
Particle physicists celebrated for work on mass of universe08 October, 15:36
Italians Guido Tonelli and Fabiola Gianotti were among researchers whose work contributed to the development of independent theories by Nobel-prize winners Peter Higgs of Britain and Belgium's Francois Englert.
The award-winning pair, working with a group of other physicists in the 1960s, developed a theory that explained how subatomic particles develop mass.
That mechanism is based on a particular particle - the Higgs boson - which was confirmed in 2012 at the Large Hadron Collider Hadron Collider in Geneva, funded by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (Cern).
Work there included contributions from Italy's National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN).
Italian researchers toasted the Nobel news.
"We are happy; I think that the boys of '64 deserve it," Tonelli said from Geneva, during the virtual toast.
"I'm very excited that the Nobel Prize has been given to particle physics," added Gianotti.
He said that the findings made after about 50 years of research was due to Italian contributions and should be celebrated.
"It's a beautiful moment".
The two Italian researchers are themselves high profile figures in the physics community.
One year ago, Tonelli and Gianotti were among the winners of a $3-million prize for their roles in the discovery of the particle believed to be the Higgs boson, the long-sought building block of the universe that gives matter its mass.
The Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation, founded by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, honoured seven physicists who oversaw thousands of scientists in the $10-billion project that smashed atoms in order to find the Higgs boson at Cern.