Higgs Wins Nobel Prize!

I awoke to the headline, “Higgs Wins Nobel Prize.” Unfortunately it was not a story about the Nobel Prize in economics going to Robert Higgs, the distinguished economic historian and Senior Fellow of the Mises Institute. I’m certainly happy for Peter Higgs, who today received (with François Englert) the Nobel Prize in physics. But concepts such as the ratchet effect and regime uncertainty are as important for economics as the Higgs Boson is for physics. Happily, Bob has received the Gary G. Schlarbaum Prize for Lifetime Defense of Liberty.

Here is a Festschrift for Bob from his former students and colleagues. Here are his scholarly article, popular article, and media archives on Mises.org.


  1. I dislike to say (i.e. my inner physicist is unhappy about that) but for consistency, the Large Hadron Collider, basically the machine made to check for the Higgs particle, should have been financed by donations, not taxpayer money. But one cannot have everything in an imperfect world. Perfection seems to lie only at the lowest levels, which we still only understand approximately, perhaps forever so.

    Anyway, an excellent glass of Bourbon is in order for this excellent work. Sadly, the army of engineers and researchers which implemented and run the LHC (with all the vagaries of cross-national state-run enterprises) do not get to partake in the price.

    And does anyone remember the US-centric “SSC” which would have been more powerful than the LHC by a factor of approximately 4, I think (http://www.npl.washington.edu/av/altvw84.html)


    Anyone interested in the details could do worse than check out Peter Woit’s blog

    http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=6341 (“Nobel for Englert and Higgs”)


    http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=3282 (“The Anderson-Higgs mechanism”)

Comments are closed.