Skip to main content
Illustration of twitter birds moving in atom movement that says "Physicists To Follow On Twitter"
Illustration by Sandbox Studio, Chicago

#FollowFriday III: Physicists to follow on Twitter

Meet four more physicists who talk about their work on Twitter in symmetry’s third installment of #FollowFriday.

Pop culture can sometimes perpetuate the notion that scientists hide away in ivory towers doing work unintelligible to the public at large.

But science doesn’t have to be inaccessible or incomprehensible. In this third installment of the #FollowFriday series, symmetry introduces four more particle physicists who make the effort to explain what they do—and what they care about—on Twitter.

Photo of Hakeem Oluseyi Twitter

Hakeem M. Oluseyi


Assistant Professor, Dept. of Physics & Space Sciences,
Florida Institute of Technology



Tell us about yourself in 140 characters or less.

I’m an explorer, science mercenary, educator and science communicator.

What areas of physics most interest you?

I’m very interested in research that speaks to the fundamentals of existence. What is it that we know that ain’t so? What does it mean to be in space? What is space? What is time? How did the universe originate? Consequently, I love cosmology and subatomic physics. At the same time, I love to invent and innovate. So, I pay attention to technologies from hardware to software to algorithms to just new ways of thinking.

Why do you use Twitter?

I started using Twitter because, frankly, I was told that I should by lots of people. I like the public feel of it versus the personal feel of email for communicating directly with people. I also like the ability to see what others are saying and thinking in real time.

What do you usually tweet about?

I usually tweet about my daily activities in science, education, outreach or media… or, I pass on interesting articles that I find in the tweet-sphere.

Photo of Seth Zenz Twitter

Seth Zenz


Dicke Fellow,
Princeton University Physics Department


Tell us about yourself in 140 characters or less.

I work for Princeton on the CMS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider: Higgs searches, upgrade studies and the pixel detector.

What areas of physics most interest you?

Thinking about what to look for in the next 10 or 20 years of LHC running, how to solve the technical problems while looking for it… and then what to do after that!

Why do you use Twitter?

I started out on Twitter as an outgrowth of my outreach work on the USLHC/Quantum Diaries blogs. I wanted a place to put ideas that were too short for a post, or which I didn't have time to post about. Over time I have branched out and now follow quite a range of scientists and explore broader areas of discussion.

What do you usually tweet about?

My primary focus is to write about particle physics and the lives of particle physicists. I retweet interesting papers, argue about the implications of the latest Higgs search results, and for a while I was doing a daily #ParticleOfTheDay. But then I also comment on the menu at CERN’s Restaurant 1 or banter with my wife's public Twitter persona as a museum curator.

Photo of Lisa Randall Twitter

Lisa Randall


Frank J Baird Professor of Science,
Harvard University



Tell us about yourself in 140 characters or less.

I'm a physicist and the author of Warped Passages, Knocking on Heaven's Door and Higgs Discovery.

What areas of physics most interest you?

Particle physics and cosmology.

Why do you use Twitter?

Although I confess I initially signed on to Twitter to learn how to use it to promote Knocking on Heaven's Door, I was quickly converted. I use Twitter to learn about news events, new experimental results and sometimes just what friends are up to.

Sometimes I encounter an interesting new idea or person. And I let people know about talks or things I'm writing. I should also mention that Twitter is a very effective way to procrastinate.

What do you usually tweet about?

I've been told you want to present a somewhat consistent personality on Twitter to maximize impact—for example, the go-to person for physics results. But I'm not that person.

I'll tweet or retweet results I find interesting, but I use Twitter more generally as a way to comment on what I observe, find interesting or find frustrating. I try to have fun with it.

Photo of Jon Butterworth Twitter

Jon Butterworth


Head of Physics & Astronomy,
University College London


Tell us about yourself in 140 characters or less.

UCL physics prof. working on ATLAS at the LHC—mainly jets, subjets, Higgs and similar. Guardian science blogger and writing a book.

What areas of physics most interest you?

Collider physics and the Standard Model, because it works so well and I have no idea why.

Why do you use Twitter?

I use it to get information, share information and chat. I like the way it makes different professions and subcultures permeable to each other. I gave a 10-minute talk on exactly this at UCL, if you're interested.

What do you usually tweet about?

According to a word-chart Twitter UK made for me, about 40 percent particle physics, 20 percent education, 20 percent other science and technology, 20 percent food & drink.

I would say about half physics, half random.

Do you have suggestions for our next #FollowFriday? Follow us on Twitter @symmetrymag, and let us know which physicists you recommend.


Like what you see? Sign up for a free subscription to symmetry!