A different kind of map this week (certainly as compared with last week’s map post). Here, Dominic Walliman attempts to make a visual map of the entire field of Physics, and offers an enjoyable layman’s tour through the modern world of physics and how everything fits together. I particularly enjoyed his notion that the field of Philosophy floats above Physics like a cloud, and is at the root of why we ask all these questions about how things work.

David Crotty

David Crotty

David Crotty is a Senior Consultant at Clarke & Esposito, a boutique management consulting firm focused on strategic issues related to professional and academic publishing and information services. Previously, David was the Editorial Director, Journals Policy for Oxford University Press. He oversaw journal policy across OUP’s journals program, drove technological innovation, and served as an information officer. David acquired and managed a suite of research society-owned journals with OUP, and before that was the Executive Editor for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, where he created and edited new science books and journals, along with serving as a journal Editor-in-Chief. He has served on the Board of Directors for the STM Association, the Society for Scholarly Publishing and CHOR, Inc., as well as The AAP-PSP Executive Council. David received his PhD in Genetics from Columbia University and did developmental neuroscience research at Caltech before moving from the bench to publishing.


8 Thoughts on "The Map of Physics"

A nice talk, but there is no actual map. A collection of pictures is not a map. Maps show how things are related.

Also, chaos is not about “large complex systems.” Chaos is a mathematical property which certain nonlinear systems possess, including some extremely simple systems. See for example https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logistic_map. Such systems need be neither large or complex.

Editor’s Note: Combining several comments here:

Is something suggestive of a horse a horse? Is a list a map? But then since I actually do real maps of science perhaps I am too protective of the concept.


Here is an intro to the science mapping community: http://scimaps.org/.


Since I have been pressed, allow me to state my opinion of this video, based on my background in the history and philosophy of physics, plus the teaching of science. This video is factually inaccurate, historically misleading and pedagogically questionable. That it is cute does not overcome these flaws. Opinions may vary. Happy to elaborate.

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