Gerald Guralnik

Higgs Boson Particle Theorist

Quick Facts:

Place of Birth

Cedar Falls, Iowa


Bachelors of Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 1955

Doctorate from Harvard 1964

Date of Birth and Death

Birth: September 17, 1936

Death: April 26, 2014

Major Contribution to Physics

Gerald Guralnik helped create the theory that would lead to the discovery of the Higgs boson particle, which confirmed beliefs about why some particles had mass and others didn’t.

The Importance of his Theory

Gerald Guralnik was one of six other physicists who created the Higgs theory in 1964 that would lead to the discovery of the Higgs boson particle in 2012. The particle is also known as the “God Particle” and is thought to be responsible for all mass in the universe. Guralnik helped physicists realize there was a problem with the standard model of the universe because it had no way of showing how particles get mass. The Higgs boson particles make up an energy field that has other particles moving in it. Those particles are attracted to the Higgs bosons in different numbers giving those particles mass and changing their speeds. It was Guralnik and his fellow scientists’ idea that the standard model needed to be changed to include such a particle, that helped begin the research and change the model of the universe.

(To the left are five of the six scientists including Guralnik. The remaining scientist died before the 2012 discovery)

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