From astrobites: “A Map of Astronomy”

Astrobites bloc

astrobites

Title: Paperscape
Authors: Damien George and Rob Knegjens
First author’s institution: Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, UK

Status: Website with accompanying explanatory blog post [open access]

The nice thing about studying the Kepler exoplanets, as I do, is that they’re more or less all in one place. Sometimes I go outside and look up at them, or, more accurately, the place I know them to be: all 5000 or so, spilling off the edge of the Summer Triangle. The source of most of our knowledge of worlds beyond the solar system is neatly contained in that tiny patch of sky. Seeing it all at once makes me feel like someday I might understand it. (An added bonus is that if my research is going poorly, I can hold up my hand and pretend it’s not there.)

Today’s bite is for those of you who, like me, like to see everything all in one place. It’s not a paper this time–rather, it’s a map of papers, everything written and published on the arXiv since its founding in 1991. Behold: physics.

1
Figure 1. The arXiv landscape. Astronomy (pink, upper right) drifts in the vast sea of the unknown, among the continents of other physics sub-fields, beset by sea monsters that I in no way photoshopped in.

See the full article here .

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What do we do?

Astrobites is a daily astrophysical literature journal written by graduate students in astronomy. Our goal is to present one interesting paper per day in a brief format that is accessible to undergraduate students in the physical sciences who are interested in active research.
Why read Astrobites?

Reading a technical paper from an unfamiliar subfield is intimidating. It may not be obvious how the techniques used by the researchers really work or what role the new research plays in answering the bigger questions motivating that field, not to mention the obscure jargon! For most people, it takes years for scientific papers to become meaningful.
Our goal is to solve this problem, one paper at a time. In 5 minutes a day reading Astrobites, you should not only learn about one interesting piece of current work, but also get a peek at the broader picture of research in a new area of astronomy.