More than 10,000 people have signed up for an online course to be taught by the University of Edinburgh on the "Higgs boson," the subatomic particle discovered by British scientist Peter Higgs.

The course, entitled "The discovery of the Higgs boson," is free and will be taught over the next seven weeks by the Scottish university where Prof. Higgs worked and developed his theory of the boson several decades ago.

Higgs came up with the idea in the 1960s that subatomic particles did not have mass when the universe began, but acquired it a fraction of a second later due to the interaction of a theoretical field, known as the Higgs field.

The scientist last year won the Nobel Prize in Physics after the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, in 2012 confirmed with 99 percent probability the existence of the Higgs boson.

Students who take the course online, according to the University of Edinburgh, will be able to learn about the scientific process that led to the discovery of the boson and Prof. Higgs and other physicists are expected to provide interviews and filmed lectures.

"Professor Higgs' research has provided us with profound insight into the building blocks of the Universe and this course will allow anyone with a computer and access to the web to take part in the exciting and revolutionary times that we live in," Arthur Trew, the head of the School of Physics and Astronomy at the university, said on Monday.

The course is being offered via the FutureLearn platform, an association in which 26 universities, the British Museum, the British Library and the British Council are participating.

Higgs is also a recipient of Spain's Prince of Asturias Scientific Research Prize. EFE