Israeli scientists played a major role in the discovery of Higgs boson, the so-called “God particle” that gives matter mass and holds together the physical fabric of the universe.
Eilam Gross, professor at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, is convenor of one of the two experiments that eventually revealed the particle.
“When I walk around now and see the trees, I feel better connected to nature,” he said in an interview from Geneva moments before the Wednesday press conference announcing the find.
Dr Gross, a Tel Avivian in his 50s, has been involved in the research to find the particle at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (Cern) in Switzerland since 1987. He said that the experiments that led directly to the discovery started in November 2011.
He is the third generation of Weizmann scientists involved in the research. His PhD supervisor was Ehud Duchovni, who heads a Weizmann Institute team at Cern.
Dr Duchovni‘s PhD supervisor was the institute’s Giora Mikenberg, who used to lead the Cern research group that Gross now heads.