Scottish Physicsist, propsoed a method for spontaneous symmetry breaking of a system using a Higgs field (funny that), just the thing required to give every particle mass in the standard model, hence the Higgs' Boson.

Reecently retired, hoping someone will find his particle before he dies so that he can recieve a Nobel Prize. He smiled at me once, well, ok, he was smiling in the same corridor as me once, I am sure he didn't even notice me.

I have heard from those that know that he gave a very confusing course in quantum field theory.

Just a comment on Smurfette's excellent writeup, in particle physics the way particles know what characteristics other particles have is by relaying intermidating particles between each other. Electrons tell each other about their charge by passing virtual photons amngst themselves, we say they are coupled together by photons. The intermediating particle for mass is thought to be the Higgs boson, however unlike with the electrons where the photon has no charge, the Higgs particle has a mass and so it couples to it'self. This leads to a bit of a mess in the calculations and to a rather large predicted mass for the Higgs particle, hence big accelerators are required.

The detection from CERN comes from a detector that is due to be closed down very shortly. They have said, "wait a moment look what we might have here, don't close us down" The detection seem to be marginal, makes you think eh! (not that I'm disputing them, just pointing out the importance in the timing of releasing scientific results)