François Englert

François Englert ( Brussels , 6 of November of 1932 ) is a theoretical physicist Belgian , professor emeritus of the Free University of Brussels (ULB), where he is a member of Theoretical Physics Service. He is also Professor Sackler for Special Designation at the School of Physics and Astronomy at Tel Aviv University , Israel , 7 and a member of the Quantum Institute of Studies at Chapman University , California . In October 2013 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics , along with Peter Higgs for the discovery of the Higgs mechanism . 6

Early years

François Englert is a survivor of the Holocaust , 8 born in the bosom of a Jewish family . During the German occupation of Belgium in World War II , he had to hide his Jewish identity living in orphanages and homes for children in the different Belgian cities of Dinant , Lustin , Stoumont and, finally, Annevoie-Rouillon , where he was freed by The United States Army .

Academic career

He graduated as an electrical-mechanical engineer in 1955 from the Free University of Brussels (ULB), where he obtained his doctorate in physical sciences in 1959. From 1959 to 1961, he worked at Cornell University , first as an associate researcher for Robert Brout and then As an adjunct professor. He then returned to the ULB, where he became a university professor and was joined there by Robert Brout. From 1980 they headed the theoretical physics group. In 1998 it became Emeritus.

The Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism

In collaboration with Robert Brout , he proposed the Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism to explain the mass of elementary particles. 9 A similar mechanism was proposed simultaneously by Peter Higgs 10 to whose name the Higgs boson , also called Brout-Englert-Higgs boson, has been associated. eleven

The Brout-Englert-Higgs Mechanism is the foundation of the electroweak theory of elementary particles and laid the basis for a unified view of the basic laws of nature.

Awards and decorations

He was awarded, along with Robert Brout and Peter Higgs , the High Energy and Particle Award of the European Society of Physics in 1997 and the Wolf Award for Physics in 2004 for the ‘mechanism that unifies short and long-range interactions through The massive generation of gauge vector bosons . ” He made important contributions to statistical physics , quantum field theory , cosmology , string theory, and supergravity . 12

In 2013 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics and the Prince of Asturias Award for Scientific and Technical Research with Peter Higgs and CERN .

By royal decree, on 8 July 2013 he was ennobled as Baron by King Albert II of Belgium .


  1. Back to top↑ Tel Aviv U. affiliated prof. Who is a Holocaust survivor wins Nobel for physics , The Jerusalem Post , Danielle Ziri, 10/08/2013
  2. Back to top↑ Tel Aviv University professor shares Nobel for physics , Haaretz , October 8, 2013
  3. Back to top↑ «Gravity Research Foundation Awards» . . Retrieved on October 8, 2013 .
  4. Back to top↑ EPS High Energy Prize Laureates
  5. Back to top↑ «American Physical Society – JJ Sakurai Prize Winners» . . Retrieved on October 8, 2013 .
  6. ↑ Jump to:a b «The Nobel Prize in Physics 2013» . Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. October 8, 2013 . Retrieved on October 8, 2013 .
  7. Back to top↑ Tel Aviv University Sackler Professor Wins Nobel Prize
  8. Back to top↑ USC Shoah Foundation Institute testimony of Francois Englert – USHMM Collections Search
  9. Back to top↑ F. Englert and R. Brout Phys.Rev.Lett. 13, 321 (1964).
  10. Back to top↑ PW Higgs Phys.Rev.Lett. 13, 508 (1964).
  11. Back to top↑ PW Higgs Physics Letters 12 132 (1964).
  12. Back to top↑ Publication list