British physicist Peter Higgs who proposed the existence of Higgs boson in 1964 hailed the findings of European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) on Wednesday, calling it "an occasion for celebration."
CERN confirmed earlier in the day that its physicists have observed a new particle consistent with the long-sought Higgs boson, a theorized sub-atomic particle believed to confer mass.
"For me, it is really an incredible thing that's happened in my lifetime," Higgs said at the press conference held in Geneva.
An emeritus professor at University of Edinburgh, Higgs also responded through the university press office that "scientists at CERN are to be congratulated on today's results, which are a great achievement for the Large Hadron Collider and other experiments leading up to this."
"I am astounded at the amazing speed with which these results have emerged. They are a testament to the expertise of the researchers and the elaborate technologies in place," the professor said in the statement.
Meanwhile, Principal of the University of Edinburgh Professor Timothy O'Shea said in a statement that "we are delighted at this significant development in the search for the Higgs boson, and congratulate Professor Peter Higgs on this."
O'shea went on to praise Higgs, now 83, as he "has inspired many colleagues and students over the years, some of whom have also gone on to become involved in the Large Hadron Collider experiments. His legacy will continue to inspire future generation of physicists, at Edinburgh and beyond."
Scientists have spent decades tracing down the Higgs boson, often nicknamed "God particle", which is believed to decay almost instantly after it interacts with other particles.