More evidence that the Higgs boson exists

There are increasing signs that the Higgs boson exists with a mass of between 115 and 135 GeV and that it decays into two bottom quarks.

At a conference in La Thuile, in Italy, both the ATLAS and CMS experiments from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, and CDF and D0 from the Tevatron presented their updated results in their search for the Higgs boson, a hypothetical particle that physicists have been trying to find for nearly five decades.

Further details: Quantum Diaries

The Geological Record of Ocean Acidification

Ocean acidification may have severe consequences for marine ecosystems; however, assessing its future impact is difficult because laboratory experiments and field observations are limited by their reduced ecologic complexity and sample period, respectively. In contrast, the geological record contains long-term evidence for a variety of global environmental perturbations, including ocean acidification plus their associated biotic responses. We review events exhibiting evidence for elevated atmospheric CO2, global warming, and ocean acidification over the past ~300 million years of Earth’s history, some with contemporaneous extinction or evolutionary turnover among marine calcifiers. Although similarities exist, no past event perfectly parallels future projections in terms of disrupting the balance of ocean carbonate chemistry—a consequence of the unprecedented rapidity of CO2 release currently taking place.

via The Geological Record of Ocean Acidification.

David Christian

David Christian is a professor at Macquarie University, Australia where he teaches big history courses and is beginning the process of setting up a Big History Institute. He coined the term “Big History” which is

the attempt to understand, in a unified, interdisciplinary way, the history of the Cosmos, Earth, Life, and Humanity,

which is exactly the same aim as this history of the universe website.

Below we show David on TED, where presents the history of the universe in 18 minutes.


David Christian of Macquaire University, Australia, has won the support of Bill Gates and Microsoft to support development of ChronoZoom, whose goal is:

to make time relationships between different studies of history clear and vivid. In the process, it provides a framework for exploring related electronic resources. It thus serves as a “master timeline” tying together all kinds of specialized timelines and electronic resources, and aspires to bridge the gap between the humanities and the sciences and to bring together and unify all knowledge of the past.

For more information about ChronoZoom visit

For a blog about Microsoft’s plans for the project click here

And here’s a video about ChronoZoom

How long is World History?

What do you think of when you hear the words “World History”?

John Green believes it is 15,000 years long. He has produced a series of YouTube videos giving what he thinks are the main facts in the story.

Not sure if he is aware of the preceding 4,600 million.

(Admittedly he does call it a “crash course” but this crash seems to have telescoped the story down to almost nothing.