François Englert, 1932–, Belgian theoretical physicist, Ph.D. Université libre de Bruxelles (U.L.B.), Brussels, 1959. He has been a professor at U.L.B. since 1964. Englert was the recipient, jointly with Peter W. Higgs, of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics for their theory of how particles acquire mass. Englert and Robert Brout (1928–2011), working independently of Higgs, and a third group of physicists, proposed in 1964 that particles acquire mass through interacting with what is now called the Higgs field. In 2012, the theory was validated when the predicted fundamental particle, known as the Higgs particle or Higgs boson, was discovered at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland. The work of Englert, Brout, Higgs, and others was key to describing how the universe is constructed, as it explains how elementary matter attains the mass to form everything from plants and animals to stars and planets. See also elementary particles.