Arise, Sir Peter

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Professor Peter Higgs may not want to accept a knighthood, if offered again (your report, 16 October), but not to do so would be wrong.

He is that rare thing: a genuine modern hero, home-grown, having a level of brilliance beyond the comprehension of most people but easily recognised as a monumental personal achievement.

He had known that something existed simply because it couldn’t not exist; and he had the faith in his mathematics and the intellectual stamina to pursue his theory for more than 40 years.

Now proved, his ideas have conferred a singularly universal type of merit on him, on his university and his country, and invested the world of particle physics with new knowledge of immeasurable importance.

He has frequently reminded us that he did not do this alone and it is for the sake of these others that he should accept any major honour offered him.

Peter Laidlaw

Bramdeen Rise

Edinburgh