The Higgs boson isn’t called the “God particle” because of its importance—so why did it get the nickname?
While large parts of science are hellbent on revealing the vast expanses of the universe, there are some that are focused on the most miniscule things you can't even imagine. When Francois Englert and Peter Higgs theorized the Higgs boson, or "God particle," it took 40 years to actually discover it because it was just that small. If it is so tiny, why is it called the "God particle" then?
The Higgs boson is the reason anything can exist, the reason things have mass and hold together. It is the highest power of particles, and thus we assume it is Godly due to it's fundamental role in the universe. However, most scientists and clerics dislike the humorous nickname.
Leon Lederman wrote a book in 1993 about the Higgs boson titled "God Particle" that became really popular. Thanks to the catchy name (Higgs boson just doesn't grab the headlines) the vast majority of people have heard of it, even those not interested in science.
The name started as a joke—publishers wouldn't let them call it the "Goddamn particle" on account of it being so damn difficult and expensive to research! The United States started to build a giant atom smasher in Texas in the 1980s but it was scrapped in 1993 after costing $2 billion. Finally, CERN and the Large Hadron Collider in the Alps managed to smash atoms until they discovered evidence in 2012.