The Large Hadron Collider is starting back up, to smash atoms into sub-atomic particles and find whatever guts lie therein.
It was less than 400 years ago, in 1632 to be exact, that Antonie van Leeuwenhoek built a microscope and observed "cells", or more specifically single-celled organisms.
In 1789, chemists got much, much smaller and Antoine Lavoisier created the term "element" to describe a substance that could be broken down into no smaller parts through chemistry.
By 1803 Dalton coined the term "atom" to describe a single unit of an element, and how atoms combine to create molecules. Atom, derived from atomos means "undividable."
But by 1838 atoms were dividable, and electrons, protons and neutrons were soon identified as essential parts of an atom. Different amounts of each defined what the atom was.
Of course, electrons and protons weren't the end of the story. Scientists soon identified six types of quarks, combinations of which created many "hadrons" including protons and electrons.
Not to mention anti-protons, anti-electrons, anti-quarks, gluons, tauons, muons, baryons, mesons, etc. etc.
The question I have here is: will we ever find the single, tiniest, fundamental micro-nano-hypersmall particle from which the universe is built? Or will our increasingly powerful, increasingly sensitive devices for detecting sub-atomic particles just spiral ever deeper into the cosmic mush, and eventually we'll have this pyramid, miles high, listing sub-atomic particles and their sub-sub-atomic particles ever downward into infinitesmality...
Frankly I'd be content to just find the Higgs Boson, myself.
28 minutes ago