The Greek professor of Physics who contributed to the discovery of the Higgs boson
Konstantinos Nikolopoulos is a CERN researcher and professor of Physics at University of Birmingham. Born in Athens, he graduated from the public school in Menidi and obtained his Ph. D. in Particle Physics, from the University of Athens in 2010.
Subsequently, he joined the Brookhaven National Laboratory (USA) as a post-doctoral research associate, and since 2012 he is a Lecturer and Birmingham Fellow at University of Birmingham.
Prof. Konstantinos Nikolopoulos led a 100-physicist subgroup in ATLAS, a large scientific collaboration at CERN, which made key contributions to the discovery of the Higgs boson. The Higgs boson is directly related to a theoretical mechanism, first postulated in 1964, that gives the elementary particles their mass.
This discovery, jointly announced by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations at CERN, is regarded as one of the biggest breakthroughs in fundamental physics this century.
This discovery completed the experimental verification of the Standard Model of particle physics, the mathematical theory through which we understand nature at the fundamental level, and resulted in the Nobel Prize in Physics being awarded to the physicists who predicted the Higgs boson decades ago.
Prof. Nikolopoulos’ work has significantly improved our understanding of the Higgs boson and explored potential new physics beyond the Standard Model.
For his work, Mr. Nikolopoulos was recently honored at the Blavatnik Awards, an important institution for rewarding talented young scientists working in the UK, for their scientific work so far and their prospects. The prize is awarded by the Academy of Sciences of New York and the Blavatnik Family Foundation.
On the occasion of the honorary award, Konstantinos Nikolopoulos stressed that: “I am excited and I feel honored to have been selected for the Blavatnik Awards UK Laureate in Physical Sciences & Engineering in 2019 as recognition of my contribution to the Higgs boson first observation. Our knowledge in this field has progressed rapidly, and I look forward to a further understanding of the mechanism of mass creation, and perhaps the discovery of new physics.”
Mr. Nikolopoulos is co-investigator on the Birmingham Particle Physics grant from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). In recent years he has also received funding in support of his work from the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions, the Royal Society, and the Durham Institute of Particle Physics Phenomenology.
He is also co-Investigator in the EU-funded “CREATIONS – Developing an Engaging Science Classroom” project.