© 2023 KVPR | Valley Public Radio - White Ash Broadcasting, Inc. :: 89.3 Fresno / 89.1 Bakersfield
89.3 Fresno | 89.1 Bakersfield
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

How A Fresno State Physicist Got More Instagram Followers Than Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Kerry Klein
Valley Public Radio
Fresno State physicist Ray Hall has amassed over 1 million Instagram followers by posting videos of educational physics toys.

When you think of Instagram celebrities, the Kardashians and performers like Beyonce probably come to mind. But with the Instagram handle @PhysicsFun, one of Fresno’s own scientists recently reached a million followers. He has almost as many as the astronaut Scott Kelly, and even more than celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Credit Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio
Valley Public Radio
Ray Hall demonstrates Euler's Disk, a toy that, like a quarter spinning and coming to rest on a tabletop, exhibits a spinning-rolling motion called "sprolling."

Ray Hall, a physics professor at Fresno State, will be speaking about his work and social media celebrity status on December 3 at a monthly event in Central Fresno known as Café Scientifique. Listen to the interview for a preview of his talk, in which he explains how he built a massive online following around videos of curious physics toys.

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.