The dominant theory is that it all began about 14 billion years ago with the Big Bang. Almost immediately some of the energy released began to condense into fundamental particles.
The process of creating the stuff around us - matter - was under way.
The process of creating that matter depended on some fundamental particles acquiring mass. But how? Good question: if everything started with a vacuum how could things that had mass come out of nothing?
It's one of the most important questions in science.
Without mass, the Universe would still be a cloud of fast-moving particles. Without those particles clumping together, no protons, no neutrons; no atoms, no molecules; no stars or galaxies or planets. No us.
It was Peter Higgs's achievement to come up with a mathematical solution in Edinburgh in the early 1960s.
A younger Peter Higgs By his own admission, Peter Higgs was not a distinguished experimental physicist
He had no PC - they hadn't been invented yet. Not even a pocket calculator. Just a fountain pen, some scrap paper and a mind that could look back billions of years.
Thanks Pete :)
there you have it we are all made of fundamental particles...