Nobel prize winner in exclusive photos
By Yves Herman
The announcement of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics was due at 0945 GMT. Belgian physicist Francois Englert was among the potential winners for this year. Englert, together with Britain’s Peter Higgs, were nominated for predicting the existence of the Higgs boson – the particle key to explaining why elementary matter has mass.
Together with Reuters television, who were looking to film exclusive reaction of the winner, we decided to research where Englert might be at the time of the announcement. Aided by our colleague Francois Lenoir, who photographed him at his home last year, we finally found Englert’s family apartment in Uccle, southern Brussels. We decided to take a chance to meet him as soon as possible to capture his initial reaction, if it happened that the Higgs boson won the prestigious prize.
We were almost certain that he would be at home but upon arriving in Uccle, we tried to meet him for an interview but were not successful. He was indeed at home but did not want to make any comment before the announcement by the Nobel Prize committee.
In the meantime, Higgs, the colleague of Professor Englert remained discreet and nobody knew where he was even up until a few minutes before the announcement.
At 0945 GMT, I was the only photographer outside Englert’s apartment as his shadow appeared from time to time through the window.
The announcement was delayed by an hour. Finally Englert showed up on his balcony. I had exclusive photos of him reacting. Arms raised, hugging his wife with a big smile, Englert was and is a happy man. Together with Higgs, he is “finally” a Nobel Prize winner, half a century after the scientists’ original prediction.