Kaushik De, director of the Center of Excellence for High Energy Physics at the University of Texas at Arlington, said Tuesday that he was happy for Nobel Prize in physics winners Peter Higgs and Francois Englert but wished theoretical physicists Gerald Guralnik, C.R. Hagen and Tom Kibble could have shared the prize.
“They came up with the idea about the same time,” he said. “The Standard Model was basically put together in the ’60s by a bunch of very bright theorists. Most of them got their Nobel Prize already. Higgs was one of the last — he had to wait for us to find the Higgs boson. For example, [Steven] Weinberg, who belonged to the same group, got his a long time ago.”
De, who is director of the U.S. computing centers for the ATLAS experiment, one of the collaborations at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN that helped discover the Higgs boson, said the Nobel is indirect recognition of the work of UTA physicists.
“It was also nice for UT Arlington,” he said. “We have been major players in finding the Higgs for the past 18 years. Without our contributions to the ATLAS detector, and especially computing, none of this would have been possible.”
Another UT Arlington physicist, Jae Yu, was in Morocco at an ATLAS meeting when the long-awaited moment arrived."It was exciting to see the announcement live with all our collaborators at this meeting," he said. "A loud cheer erupted when the vote result was announced with our experiments' results cited."
ATLAS includes 3,000 physicists from 170 institutions, including UTA, Texas A&M and Texas Tech. The computing hardware associated with ATLAS is located at 100 computing centers worldwide that manage more than 50 petabytes, or 50 million gigabytes, of data. UTA is home to the ATLAS Southwest Tier 2 grid computing center.