An Edinburgh scientist whose work lies at the heart of the "Big Bang" experiment in Switzerland has been speaking of his hopes for the massive project. Forty years ago Professor Peter Higgs came up with a theory which is now one of the cornerstones of modern physics. The experiments in Geneva could now prove whether he was right - and win him a Nobel Prize.
Images from a screen signalled the start of the world's biggest ever experiment in Geneva - and a quest which could win an Edinburgh scientist a Nobel Prize almost 50 years after he began the work that made his name.
Some say Peter Higgs should be mentioned in the same breath as Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. His theory is a cornerstone of modern physics.
Professor Higgss' work led to the idea that there is a particle which gives everything its mass, or weight. It has been called the Higgs Boson and it is thought to be so important it has been nicknamed the God particle. Without it there would be no such thing as gravity.
The Professor's paper was published in 1964. Forty years later his theory is almost universally accepted but it has never been proved in practise. What is happening in Swizterland could do exactly that.
Asked about the prospect of being proved right after 44 years, he said: "That's a very nice prospect of course."
On whether he was confident it is going to happen, he said: "Pretty confident. I'll be very surprised and disappointed if it turns out not to be so. It would mean I no longer understand things which I now understand well."
Many scientists believe the £5 billion project at the European Centre for Nuclear Research will prove Professor Higgs's theory.
Professor Peter Clarke from Edinburgh University said: "We're pretty sure that Peter Higgs would get a Nobel prize for this. It's been something that's been so fundamental to the theory for so many years and it would be a vindication of 50 years' work."
Professor Higgs says he has champagne ready to celebrate - but it is reckoned he and the rest of the scentific world will have to wait three years before they know if he was right.