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10 Top Physics Feeds on Twitter


In the wake of the announced potential discovery of the Higgs boson, The Huffington Post's Science section ran a list of Physicists to Follow on Twitter ... and your humble Physics Guide was one of them! This seemed like a good idea, though, so I decided to create my own list, not just of physicists, but also of general physics feeds. (I am, after all, not actually a practicing physicist, but rather a physics writer. It is, I assure you, a big difference.)

1. @AboutPhysics

Andrew Zimmerman Jones

This is the Twitter page for the About.com Physics page. I'm at the top of the list not because I'm the best, but just because it's my list, so I get to order it however I want. This feed provides information on new articles on this website, as well as over at About.com Space, About.com Chemistry, and About.com Inventors. I also have a number of Twitter lists which are updated on a regular basis as I find new feeds to follow. You can choose to subscribe to the lists directly, rather than following each feed individually.

If you'd like to keep apprised of my non-physics musings, you can also follow me through @azjauthor.

2. Neil deGrasse Tyson

Public Domain from NASA
The Director of the Hayden Planetarium and renowned science communicator who hosts PBS' NOVA ScienceNow and upcoming Cosmos series, Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the most entertaining physicists on Twitter. He seems able to adapt well to any platform and Twitter is no exception, as his razor-sharp wit comes across well in the bite-sized nuggets mandated by the medium. If you're looking for clever science commentary to share with others, you can rarely go wrong with Neil deGrasse Tyson.

3. Sean M. Carroll

Sean Carroll is widely known for his active science communication over at Discover magazine's Cosmic Variance blog, which made our own list of great physics blogs. In addition, Carroll is an accomplished cosmologist at CalTech. His 2010 book for popular readers is as ambitious as the name implies: From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time. At the time I write this post, he is working on a new book about the Higgs boson.

4. Brian Greene

Andrea Cross
Brian Greene is a mathematics professor at Columbia University who swept the world by storm with his 1999 book The Elegant Universe (later turned into a PBS documentary) which brought string theory well into the realm of popular culture, if not comprehension. His subsequent 2005 book, Fabric of the Cosmos, was also turned into a PBS NOVA documentary called, appropriately enough, The Fabric of the Cosmos, though it also brought in many concepts from The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos, his book about the reasoning behind the various multiverse theories that exist within physics. Greene is also the co-founder of the World Science Festival, an annual New York City event to promote science awareness.

5. @MinutePhysics

The list was getting a bit over-burdened with high-profile physicists-turned-science-communicators, so I thought it would be nice to throw a non-person into the mix. This feed provides links to the MinutePhysics YouTube page, where they release quick and easily-accessible science videos that teach people about core physics concepts. If quick videos are your way of learning physics, then MinutePhysics is definitely something you'll want to look into.

6. Brian Cox

British particle physicist Brian Cox is sometimes called the "rock star physicist," in part because he was once a member of the rock band D:Ream (it disbanded in 1997), and also because he comes across as young, hip, and trendy ... a set of traits that aren't typically associated with particle physicists. He's been able to parlay that into turning into one of Britain's top science communicators, sort of filling the role over there on the BBC that Neil deGrasse Tyson does over here on PBS: the face of physics on public television.

7. Lisa Randall

Lisa Randall is a theoretical physicist who works on the ideas of extra dimensions, to the extent where some string theory models involving multi-dimensional branes to explain the fundamental nature of gravity can trace themselves back to her brain.

8. Lawrence Krauss

Photo by Guido Castagnoli, obtained from Krauss' website: http://krauss.faculty.asu.edu/
Cosmologist and popular science author Lawrence Krauss is also active on Twitter. As the Director of Arizona State University's Origins Institute, his emphasis is trying to understand the origins of the universe and, well, basically everything else ... so it's a pretty interesting subject for him to chat about.

9. Michio Kaku

Michio Kaku is another scientist who has taken the step beyond the classroom and the research lab to become an expert on communicating science to the masses. In his case, he focuses largely on explaining the real science behind science fiction concepts, as he's done in his books Physics of the Impossible and Physics of the Future, as well as a number of television programs across a diverse range of networks.

10. Phil Plait

Phil Plait is the highly entertaining astronomer who runs the Bad Astronomer blog over at Discover magazine. He's fairly active on Twitter, but he does seem to get a bit more off topic than some of the others on this list. You'd almost think that he has a lot of interests outside of science.
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