›Colloquia: Waiting for Higgs
The text book history of the discovery of a mechanism that can give mass to gauge bosons, which implies the existence of a Higgs boson or bosons, glosses over many convolutions. I will review what actually happened and why initially the work of Higgs and others did not excite much attention. I will then describe, from a personal perspective, how it became mainstream in the 1970s and 1980s before reviewing searches for Higgs bosons at LEP and then the LHC. Finally I will touch briefly on the discovery of a (probably ‘the’) Higgs boson at CERN, announced on 4 July 2012, and its implications.