Things have been going pretty badly for Theo Bernstein. An unfortunate accident at work lost him his job (and his work involved a Very Very Large Hadron Collider, so he's unlikely to get it back). His wife has left him. And he doesn't have any money. Before Theo has time to fully appreciate the pointlessness of his own existence, news arrives that his good friend Professor Pieter van Goyen, renowned physicist and Nobel laureate, has died. By leaving the apparently worthless contents of his safety deposit to Theo, however, the professor has set him on a quest of epic proportions.