A portrait of Professor Sir Tom Kibble, former Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics at Imperial College London, was unveiled earlier this week.
The portrait, which was painted by Tess Barnes, was revealed by Professor Kibble’s three children, in a ceremony on Monday. Professor Peter Higgs, who had worked in similar research areas to Professor Kibble, was scheduled to attend, but was unable due to illness.
The unveiling was preceded by two short lectures by Professor Kellog Stelle and Professor Anne-Christine Davis.
Professor James Stirling, Provost of Imperial, said he was “one of the hundreds of thousands of young scientists that Tom inspired”, and that it had been “a real privilege…to get to know him” before his death in 2016, at the age of 83.
Professor Kibble, who was born in 1932 in Madras, India, came to Imperial in 1959, after completing a PhD in mathematical physics at the University of Edinburgh. He joined the Theoretical Physics Group, which was a recent development at Imperial
In the 1960s, Professor Kibble’s work with Gerald Guralnik and C. R. Hagen led to the co-discovery of the Higgs mechanism and the Higgs boson, for which he was awarded the 2010 J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics.
He was notably absent from the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics, which was awarded to Françcois Englert and Peter Higgs for their “theoretical discovery of [the Higgs mechanism]” – Higgs later expressed his disappointment that Professor Kibble did not share the award.
The portrait is scheduled to go on display in the Blackett Laboratory soon.