The Higgs particle
was first hypothesized by the Scottish scientist Peter Higgs in
1964. After taking a weekend walk in the Cairngorm Mountains
he returned to his laboratory in Edinburgh on Monday and
declared to his colleagues that he had just experienced his 'one big
idea' and now had an answer to the mystery of how matter in
the universe got its mass. Since then a few billion dollars have
been poured into the quest to find the 'Higgs boson' - which, if it
exists, has such a central role in defining the universe that it's
also known as the God Particle.
You can find out more about the Higgs boson and the Superconducting Super Collider at these two sites (and no doubt many others):
The Higgs bosun
The Superconducting Super Collider.