80: Carl Hagen: Spontaneous Symmetries, the Higgs Mechanism and the Nobel Prize


Carl Hagen

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I delighted in this remarkable opportunity to chat with Carl Hagen , a man who, as much as anyone alive was responsible for discovering the so-called Higgs Mechanism". I found Carl fascinating and very similar to his lifelong friend  and colleague,  my former quantum mechanics Professor at Brown University, Gerry Guralnik. The so called  "GHK  Paper"  co-authored by Gerry, Carl and Tom Kibble is regarded as perhaps the most important and accurate description of the mechanism by which massive particles like the electron 'acquire' their masses. Carl and I agree -- the Nobel Prize is not the real reward -- doing the science is.  But nevertheless, the process by which the history of science is recorded often is by reference to those who win Nobel Prizes. This, in my opinion at least, is the most pernicious and sometimes cruel aspect of the Nobel Prizes...Let me know what you think is the best and worst aspect of the Nobel Prizes in the comments.

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