So, You Want to be an Astrophysicist?

Posted on December 25, 2006  Comments (1)

Dynamics of Cats (good name don’t you think) has an interesting series of posts: So, you want to be an astrophysicist? The latest is: Part 2.5 – grad school by Steinn Sigurðsson:

Think very seriously about whether you want to do theory, observation, data analysis or instrumentation.
You may end up doing things you never imagined out of necessity (like theorists go take observations, cause if they don’t no one else will; or observers running simulations, or building the instrument they need to do the observations etc etc).

Finally: READ!!! Pro-actively.
Check arXiv regularly and thoroughly. Read the papers relevant to you and anything else that looks interesting.
Read the references! They are there for a reason. Read the citations – if a paper is interesting, papers which cite it are also likely to be interesting. Use the ADS “C” option liberally and look through it quickly. If in doubt ask you advisor, or just read it anyway.

Next, the slightly tricky issue of what we actually “do”, research wise type of thingy. Might take a while… is a (even the) great open access article resource. “Open access to 400,419 e-prints in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science and Quantitative Biology.”

One Response to “So, You Want to be an Astrophysicist?”

  1. Ryan
    May 12th, 2009 @ 7:57 pm

    I didn’t know such a thing as arXiv existed.
    Thank you.
    Thank you so much.

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