The July 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson in the most powerful particle accelerator in the world, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, has been billed as one of the biggest scientific achievements of the past 50 years.
But the Royal Academy passed over the Higgs boson last year, to the surprise of many.
The scientists, in the meantime, have confirmed their discovery and solidified its place in science.
On March 14, what would have been Albert Einstein's birthday, they announced that, over time, the particle they found looked even more like the Higgs boson they had been chasing for almost 50 years.
It was a landmark scientific advancement, and it was a first.
Many scientists dislike the term "God particle," even though it's become popular in the media. The nickname came from the title of a book by Leon Lederman, who reportedly wanted to call it the "Goddamn Particle" since it was so hard to find.
The Nobel Prize in physics makes a nice lifetime achievement award for Englert and Higgs. Both are professors emeritus: Englert at the Free University of Brussels; Higgs at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
Though deserving, they are lucky, as the Royal Academy had a long list of brilliant scientists and achievements to choose from.
And the field of physics covers a virtually infinite scale, from beyond the smallest sub-atomic particles to the largest, most distant stars and quasars in the vast reaches of the universe.
Last year's winners
Last year's prize to Serge Haroche and David J. Wineland rewarded work in the field of quantum optics. It could lead the way to superfast computers and and the most precise clocks ever seen.
The two approached the same principles from opposite directions.
The American used light particles to measure the properties of matter, while his French colleague focused on tracking light particles by using atoms.
Both Nobel laureates found ways to isolate the subatomic particles and keep their properties intact at the same time.
Prior to the breakthrough, such particles quickly interacted with matter, which changed their qualities and rendered them unobservable. That left scientists stuck doing a lot of guesswork.
Past and future Nobels
Since 1901, the committee has handed out the Nobel Prize in physics 107 times, including this year's award. The youngest recipient was Lawrence Bragg, who won in 1915 at the age of 25. Bragg is not only the youngest physics laureate; he is also the youngest laureate in any Nobel Prize area.
The oldest physics laureate was Raymond Davis Jr., who was 88 years old when he was awarded the prize in 2002.
John Bardeen was the only physicist to receive the prize twice, for work in semiconductors and superconductivity.
Two Americans and a German shared the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine this year.