After decades of research, the Higgs boson particle has been discovered. Scientists announced last night in Geneva that the CERN research center in Europe has discovered the formerly theoretical particle.
No, it wasn't hiding behind the couch the whole time -- it had to be produced by smashing proton particles together in a high-speed accelerator called the Large Hadron Collider in CERN's labs.
But what is the Higgs particle, and why is it important? Scientists believe that this particle is what caused the Big Bang to form the orderly universe humanity knows and lives in today.
Some are calling this the "God Particle" because of that central role it played, and apparently may still play, in giving other particles mass. Atheists (and others) are not obligated to believe in the God Particle however, and can continue calling it Higgs boson as they please.
The Higgs portion of the particle is a physicist by the name of Peter Higgs who started researching the particle back in the 1960s. He's now 83, but it's nice to see that his life's work has paid off.
Not only will some scientists likely get a shiny new Nobel prize out of this discovery, it is also likely to pave the way to more understanding of science mysteries such as dark matter and other dimensions. In other words, this is a big step in understanding how the universe was created, and how it functions today.