The "God particle" has come by its name honestly: Like the entity it is named after, it is difficult for those who are not trained in the arcane language of physics to understand. It is a mystery even to those who think they know it best.
The search for the Higgs boson -- the more conventional name for the Holy Grail of physics -- has inspired hundreds of scientists to probe the subatomic realm for a glimpse of its mysteries. The operators of the Large Hadron Collider on the Swiss-French border believe they've finally detected evidence, though indirect, of the particle's existence.
They believe they have a footprint and a shadow to follow, but the evidence remains elusive. Still, scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research are convinced that after years of compiling data that chart the collision of protons at the world's biggest atom smasher, they have a better understanding of the forces that may have been at work during the Big Bang.
Nothing uncovered at the Large Hadron Collider contradicts the theory about the subatomic particle that scientists believe combines with gravity to give objects their weight. The God particle theory is an attempt to understand how protons, neutrons, and electrons formed and how they attain mass. It is the floor of a deeper understanding of the universe.
Scientists probably won't be satisfied with simply finding the floor. There is always a search for the next irreducible reality. At one time, atoms represented the ultimate point, then it became what atoms are made of.
If humanity finds the God particle, we probably will want to dissect that too. We won't stop until we finally face something that fills us with fear and awe.