An Aerogramme From Professor Higgs, Nobel Winner | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

An Aerogramme From Professor Higgs, Nobel Winner

Well, it's happened. British scientist Peter Higgs has won a Nobel Prize for proposing the Higgs boson particle as part of a mechanism that explains how things in the universe came to have mass.

Higgs seems to be lying low today so far — a colleague told The New York Times that Higgs had "gone off by himself for a few days without saying where" and that a reporter seeking an interview recently had been "sent away with a flea in his ear."

As it happens, when I was just starting out in journalism 16 years ago, I wrote an email to Higgs at the University of Edinburgh asking him how the particle everyone was looking for had come to bear his name. (The Higgs is also known as the "God Particle" — a name that started out as a joke and stuck.)

I had just finished grad school in physics and was nervous to be emailing the guy whose name had figured so prominently in my classes. (Is this what journalists do? Just email famous people asking questions?)

I didn't hear anything for a month. But then this lovely aerogramme appeared in the mail. I've kept it in my desk ever since.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Deggans Picks 'Gotham,' 'Black-ish,' 'The Flash' Among Fall TV's Best

As the fall TV season begins this week, NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans gives his picks on new shows to watch and a few to avoid (or hate watch, if you like).
NPR

Syrup Induces Pumpkin-Spiced Fever Dreams

Hugh Merwin, an editor at Grub Street, bought a 63-ounce jug of pumpkin spice syrup and put it in just about everything he ate for four days. As he tells NPR's Scott Simon, it did not go well.
NPR

Hillary Exhilaration Helps Energize Generation Z

Many young people are excited about the 2016 presidential election — and the chance to make history.
WAMU 88.5

Cellphones In Class Are No Problem In One Maryland School District

An Eastern Shore school district is allowing teachers to treat students' cellphones, tables and laptops as a resource rather than a nuisance.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.