Math and Physics Social Media

In the current situation, getting back to finding interesting news about math and/or physics to think about seems like a good idea, but I’ve been having trouble coming up with such news. Besides blogs, many of them listed on the right-hand margin of this one, I also follow some people on Twitter and on Google+. There are quite a few well-known physicists on Twitter at this point. On any given day you can learn something interesting from, for instance, Frank Wilczek or John Preskill (or see an epic throwdown between them).

I’m sure there are many other mathematicians and physicists on social media that I’m not aware of, and open here to hearing suggestions. Part of the problem is that I’m now so old I figure I don’t even know what social media sites are out there. I hear there’s this thing called Facebook, but also that it’s now over as far as the younger generation is concerned. So, if you have a suggestion about where to find high quality news about math or physics on social media, whether it’s on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Live Journal, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Yik Yak, Grindr or something else I’ve never heard of, please let us all know in the comments.

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17 Responses to Math and Physics Social Media

  1. Jon Awbrey says:

    I’m not sure social media is supposed to be about super high quality. You could experiment with creating a Facebook community or group page of your own and it would have whatever focus, quality, and scope you could maintain for it. But you’d probably find that FB is more about exploration, immediacy, and yeoperson efforts at public education, in your case about math and physics, if you have the fortitude for that. I always find that communication is far harder than either discovery or invention.

  2. Peter Woit says:

    Jon Awbrey,
    To be clear, I have no interest at all myself in participating more in different social media (the blog here is already too much of a time sink). I’m just trying to find out from others what sources of information are available that I might not know about.

  3. Shecky R says:

    Will mention 3 (out of a zillion) on Twitter:
    1) Grant Sanderson, for his math videos: @3Blue1Brown
    His YouTube channel here:
    2) Brian Hayes, just for interesting stuff (usually, but not always math/computer science): @bit_player
    3) Erica Klarreich (usually on Quanta): @EricaKlarreich

  4. Doug McDonald says:

    I look daily at some of the Physics ones you list at right.

    But many others there seem to be extinct. Perhaps a purge?

  5. Magnema says:

    Re: Facebook: In my experience, it’s one of those things which many (even young) people have and use for “functional” communication (such as group project work with someone you don’t know outside of a class), but not for “social” communication. It’s like e-mail – it’s not something that’s cool, but nor is it quite “out” (vs., say, Myspace).

  6. Cesar says:

    I’m a big fan of mailing lists.

    I know and participate in lots of them, but none about mathematics or physics. I usually get news about that from blogs (like this one) and websites like Quanta, Nature, etc.

    Searching on Google gives some results. But it appears that most lists are university-specific.

    We could organize a new, general mailing list for enthusiasts.
    It could be one for both physics and mathematics or 2 mailing lists for each subject.
    I would subscribe for sure!

    Anyone in the known up for the task?
    I heard good things about ezmlm.

  7. Bee says:

    I think it doesn’t matter all that much which social media you use as long as your circle is large enough because stuff gets passed around anyway. Eg, I use facebook, twitter, and (to a lesser extend) G+ (I am also signed up to like a dozen other sites which I don’t use though) and I follow a bunch of blogs and magazines and so on. If anything is making rounds at all, it shows up in my feeds not once but dozens of times. (And that’s leaving aside the people who, several weeks later, send me the same thing by email asking if I’ve seen it.)

    I gravitate towards facebook because in my experience the discussions work best there. I don’t understand how people can have discussions on twitter, the medium just isn’t designed for it. Yes, I too have heard young folks don’t do facebook. Fine by me.

    Of course this doesn’t really address the question of all question, where to get new news from, if that’s what you’re after. Following conference hashtags on twitter and journal feeds is a good way to keep an eye on what’s going on. For example, CQG has a blog now, and they’re also on twitter. It’s too technical stuff to draw a large readership, but at least for my research it’s very interesting, see

    There’s also of course PRL

    And Nature Physics

    Which I find to be very informative. On facebook, Physics Today is very strong. Other feeds, pages to follow, depending on your interest, are experiments, labs, institutions, and so on.

    Just generally, I have found that journals and membership journals and experimental collaborations have a minimum amount of bullshit in their feed. With institutional accounts, there’s an unavoidable amount of self-promotion. Eg, the Max Planck Institutes in Germany publish a pretty good magazine (which you can also get in print for free!), which is very well done and so on, but of course it will always tell you what great stuff MPI is doing, so you need some tolerance for that.

  8. Shantanu says:

    Peter most of the blogs on the right side are no longer active , or updated regularly.
    on fb there is Astronomers group, which is worth subscribing to for interesting news and issues and also technical group related to astrostatistics and python users in astronomy.
    ( I don’t know if particle physicists use any similar forum to discuss science or technical issues)

  9. Deane says:

    There’s a active group of mathematicians on Facebook who engage in conversations about all the usual topics but also often discuss math. In fact, it appears that some people find it to be a more friendly environment for asking math questions than MathOverflow. However, the problem with Facebook is that there is all the other distracting stuff you have to try your best to ignore.

  10. Frank Quednau says:

    For programming, is indispensable.
    There is also and
    It doesn’t fit exactly what you’re looking for, but are two good quality Q&A sites on the matters.

  11. Jim Akerlund says:

    What about It is moderated.

  12. martibal says:

    This is not social media, but could be of interest for those who understand french: the last lectures of Connes at Collège de France,
    Till the 19th of january, he talks about “geometry and the quantum”. Then it goes more
    towards arithmetic.

  13. Ronan says:

    This site contains a list of some of the physicists on twitter

  14. Anon says:

    What has happened to blogging? Has nothing taken its place? I’m genuinely curious.

  15. Hi Peter,

    well, for one thing there’s the @cmsvoices twitter account, which I manage this month (it changes every month). I am usually @dorigo


  16. anon says:

    Peter, go to the Google homepage and type into the search bar: “mathematics” OR “physics”, then click news and voila: plenty of fresh maths/physics news to pick from.

  17. Greg Bernhardt says:

    Can’t forget the original

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