Belgium's François Englert and Briton Peter Higgs will share the 2013 Nobel Prize in physics for their theory of the mechanism that allows matter to have mass, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Tuesday.

Working independently, Higgs and Englert - along with the late Robert Brout - formulated in 1964 the existence of a subatomic particle that came to be known as the Higgs boson or the "God particle."

But it was only in 2012 that the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, was able to confirm the existence of the boson through experiments conducted with the Large Hadron Collider.

Higgs, 84, a professor emeritus at the University of Edinburgh, and the 80-year-old Englert, who is affiliated with the Institute for Quantum Studies at Chapman University in California, will share a cash award of 8 million Swedish kronor ($1.2 million).

"I hope this recognition of fundamental science will help raise awareness of the value of blue-sky research," Higgs said in a statement issued by his university.

Englert, Higgs and CERN were announced earlier this year as the recipients of the 2013 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research in recognition of their work establishing the existence of the God particle. EFE