The 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics goes to two different achieve- ments. Both relate to symmetry breaking, but in very different ways. All three recipients, Yoichiro Nambu, Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa, certainly deserved the prize, but Nambu should have gotten the prize years ago, and they should given the prize to Nicola Cabibbo as well—after all it is called the Cabibbo-Kobayashi-Maskawa mechanism!
Nambu explained how protons and neutrons could get mass in the same way that superconductivity happens. If that doesn't sound ground-breaking, I don't know what does! He showed that a symmetry in something called a quantum field theory can be "spontaneously broken".