Nobel Prize-winning scientist Peter Higgs has revealed he did not know he had won the award until a woman congratulated him in the street.
Higgs, who does not own a mobile phone, said a former neighbor had pulled up in her car as he was returning from lunch in Edinburgh.
“She congratulated me on the news and I said ‘oh, what news?’,” he added.
The woman had been alerted by her daughter in London that Higgs had won the award, he revealed.
The 84-year-old emeritus professor at the University of Edinburgh was recognized by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for his work on the theory of the particle which shares his name, the Higgs boson.
He shares this year’s physics prize with Francois Englert of Belgium, and joins the ranks of past Nobel winners including Marie Curie and Albert Einstein.
Speaking for the first time about the award at a media conference at the University of Edinburgh, he said, “How do I feel? Well, obviously I’m delighted and rather relieved in a sense that it’s all over. It has been a long time coming.”