Britain's Higgs, Belgium's Englert win 2013 physics Nobel prize

British physicist Peter Higgs (right) talking with Belgium physicist Francois Englert before a news conference on the search for the Higgs boson at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Meyrin near Geneva on July 4, 2012. Mr Higgs
British physicist Peter Higgs (right) talking with Belgium physicist Francois Englert before a news conference on the search for the Higgs boson at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Meyrin near Geneva on July 4, 2012. Mr Higgs and Mr Englert won the 2013 Nobel prize for physics for predicting the existence of the Higgs boson - the particle key to explaining why elementary matter has mass - the award-giving body said on Tuesday, Oct 8, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

STOCKHOLM (REUTERS) - Britain's Peter Higgs and Belgium's Francois Englert won the 2013 Nobel prize for physics for predicting the existence of the Higgs boson - the particle key to explaining why elementary matter has mass - the award-giving body said on Tuesday.

The two scientists had been favourites to share the 8 million Swedish crown (S$1.56 million) prize after their theoretical work was finally vindicated by experiments at the CERN research centre's gigantic particle collider.

"The awarded theory is a central part of the Standard Model of particle physics that describes how the world is constructed," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement.

"According to the Standard Model, everything, from flowers and people to stars and planets, consists of just a few building blocks: matter particles."

Physics was the second of this year's crop of Nobels. The prizes were first awarded in 1901 to honour achievements in Science, literature and peace in accordance with the will of dynamite inventor and business tycoon Alfred Nobel.