Tom Kibble, the Chennai-born physicist who made a big contribution to the elucidation of the Higgs Boson concept died on Thursday, 9 June 2016 in London. Sir Tom Kibble was the Emeritus Professor at Imperial College died at the age of 83.
He was among the highly respected members of Imperial’s academic community and made immeasurable contributions to the field of theoretical physics in a lengthy and illustrious career.
Thomas Bannerman was born in the former state of Madras, India in 1932. After completing his schooling from Edinburgh, he enrolled in the University of Edinburgh where he completed his graduation and Ph.D. in 1958.
He subsequently joined the Physics Department at Imperial College in 1959.He became a Professor in the Theoretical Physics Department at Imperial, a post he held from 1983 to 1991.
His most outstanding contribution to Physics came in 1964 when he authored a paper along with Gerald Guralnik and Richard Hagen from Rochester University, New York.
This work along with another article he authored alone in 1967 led to the birth of the concept of mass-giving particle which now known as Higgs boson.
It proved a key feature of the standard model of particle physics. The existence of Higgs-Boson particle was confirmed experimentally in 2012 by the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
He was jointly awarded the 2010 J.J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics. It is one of the most prestigious international prizes in physics.
Other awards include Order of the British Empire and Albert Einstein Medal. Unflinchingly modest and shunning the limelight, Tom was knighted in 2014.
In spite of his role in the confirmation Higgs-Boson concept, he was not considered for the Nobel Prize in 2013 for the discovery of the particle. The Nobel went to Peter Higgs and Francois Englebert.