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Nobel winner Higgs to 'properly' retire at 85

world Updated: Oct 16, 2013 14:20 IST
Peter Higgs

Peter Higgs, the British scientist who jointly won the Nobel physics prize last week for his work on the "God particle", said he plans to retire next year -- once he turns 85.

He quit full-time teaching 17 years ago but still works on sharing his knowledge with other scientists, he said in an interview with the BBC's Scotland service broadcast late Tuesday.

"I'm proposing to retire at the age of 85, next year," Higgs said, explaining this would see him "properly" giving up work.

He also revealed that he turned down the offer of a knighthood from the British government in 1999, saying: "I thought anything of that sort was premature.

"And anyway, I didn't want that sort of title thank you."

It was a similar sense of humility that caused him to make himself unavailable on October 8 when he was awarded the Nobel jointly with 80-year-old Francois Englert of Belgium.

The pair were honoured for theorising a particle that explains why the Universe has mass.

The "God particle", also known as the Higgs boson, was discovered at CERN last year after a decades-long search.