Holocaust survivor wins Nobel in physics

A Jewish scientist has received a Nobel Prize in physics for his groundbreaking work on the origins of subatomic particles.

Belgium-born Francois Englert, 80, spent decades working on the “Higgs boson” particle, and was recognised “for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles”.

Professor Englert, who survived the Holocaust, worked on the project with British scientist Peter Higgs, who jointly received the award.

“At first I thought I didn't have it because I didn't see the announcement,” said a “very happy” Professor Englert, who was selected by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

The theoretical physicist is a professor at Tel Aviv University and emeritus professor at the Université libre de Bruxelles, where he graduated an engineer and received a PhD in physical sciences in the 1950s.

Prof Englert received the 2013 Prince of Asturias Award in technical and scientific research, the J J Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics in 2010 and Wolf prize in physics in 2004.

Last updated: 9:29am, October 9 2013