Nobel physics laureate Peter Higgs 'overwhelmed'

British scientist Professor Peter Higgs poses after addressing a press conference at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland on July 6, 2012. Dr Higgs said he was overwhelmed after he and his Belgian colleague Francois Englert were jointly award
British scientist Professor Peter Higgs poses after addressing a press conference at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland on July 6, 2012. Dr Higgs said he was overwhelmed after he and his Belgian colleague Francois Englert were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for their work on the Higgs Boson particle. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

EDINBURGH (AFP) - British scientist Peter Higgs said he was "overwhelmed" after he and his Belgian colleague Francois Englert were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for their work on the Higgs Boson particle.

"I am overwhelmed to receive this award and thank the Royal Swedish Academy," Dr Higgs, 84, said in a statement released by Edinburgh University, where he is based.

"I would also like to congratulate all those who have contributed to the discovery of this new particle and to thank my family, friends and colleagues for their support.

"I hope this recognition of fundamental science will help raise awareness of the value of blue-sky research."

The Nobel jury said they were honoured for "the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle".

The elusive boson was theorised by Dr Higgs in 1964, outlining what gave mass to matter as the Universe cooled after the Big Bang.