Today’s physics news: Higgs discovery is rated year’s top achievement by Science; Guardian live blogs end of the world

Here is our physics news for Friday 21 December 2012. Merry Christmas everyone – see you in 2013!

Discovery of Higgs Boson rated year’s top scientific achievement by Science

The discovery of the Higgs boson by physicists using the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland was named breakthrough of the year by Science magazine, with runners-up including the pin-sharp DNA sequencing of a Siberian cave girl who lived 50,000 years ago and a delicate brain implant in a Pennsylvania woman paralysed from the neck down that allowed her to use the power of thought to manipulate a robotic arm to grasp a bottle and take a sip of coffee.


End of the World (live blog)

Today the Maya Long Count calendar reads ‘’ (‘thirteen b’aktun’) for the first time in 5,125 years, believed by some to mark the end of civilisation. Our correspondents report preparations for the apocalypse around the world, and speculate about how and when the Earth will meet its inevitable doom. The world will not end today, but it’s only a matter of time …


Graduates offered large sum to train as maths teachers

A tax-free bounty of £20,000 is to be extended to attract more graduates into teaching maths. Bounty payments of £20,000 to trainee maths teachers are to be extended in an attempt to widen the pool of applicants seeking a career in teaching.

The Times  (Subscription only)

Schools enter pupils to same exams with multiple boards to raise results

Schools have been entering pupils for GCSE maths with multiple exam boards in a “frightening” attempt to achieve higher grades and improve league table rankings, a senior exam board official who led the government’s curriculum review has warned.


Young adults’ poor numeracy at odds with rising GCSE grades

Young adults have lower levels of numeracy than any other section of the population, despite rising grades in GCSE maths, the government-commissioned Skills for Life survey has revealed.


Professors look in the mirror – not all like what they see

More than a third of professors believe that attaining professorial status is a matter of politics and acquiring large grants rather than academic excellence, a study suggests.

Times Higher Education


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