Physics Subject Guide
When refining a research topic in physics, it often helps to consult some of the standard reference works before searching for books and journal articles. A good article in a specialized encyclopedia can give you the necessary background you need to get started and can help suggest keywords or other avenues of research.
You can look for relevant sources in the reference book collection on the first floor, near the circulation desk, generally in the QC section. You can also ask me or the librarian at the Reference Desk for assistance in finding appropriate reference sources.
Searching TIGER by keyword or subject is often the fastest way to find books about your topic.
For books that we don’t own here at Colorado College, or books that are checked out or otherwise unavailable, use Prospector - Colorado Unified Catalog . You’ll find books (and CDs, DVDs, etc.) in libraries across Colorado that you can request and have sent to the Tutt Library circulation desk where you can check them out.
For books not available in TIGER or Prospector, you can request through Interlibrary Loan via WorldCat .
Please ask a librarian if you need help with TIGER, Prospector, or WorldCat.
Books about physics are assigned call numbers that begin with:
- Q General Science
- QB Astronomy
- QC Physics
There are a number of databases to consult for articles on physics topics. For empirical articles, you may want to start with Web of Knowledge; for more general articles, General Science Abstracts or Academic Search Premier are good databases to try.
Complete list of databases for physics
- Annual Reviews
- Coverage: 1990's - current
- Online access to 20 Annual Reviews series covering biomedical sciences, physical sciences, and social sciences. Please note: we subscribe to a subset of the Annual Reviews, and may not have access to the earliest volume for each title.
- General Science Abstracts
- Coverage: 1984 - current
- Covers such subjects as anthropology, astronomy, biology, computers, earth sciences, mathematics, medicine and health, and much more.
- History Of Science, Technology And Medicine
- An international bibliography for the history of science, technology and medicine, reflecting the influence of these fields on society and culture from prehistory to the present. Includes journal articles, conference proceedings, books, book reviews and dissertations.
- IoP Electronic Journals
- Coverage: 1874 - current
- Full text articles of over 70 journals from their inception, dealing with all areas of physics, pure and applied.
- Coverage: early 1800s - current
- Reviews, abstracts and bibliographic information for much of the mathematical sciences literature. Originally based on Mathematical Reviews (MR).
- Physical Review Online Archive
- Coverage: 1893 - most recent 3 years
- PROLA is the Physical Review Online Archive, which includes the full-text of articles from Physical Review Letters, Reviews of Modern Physics, and the Physical Review series from their inception up to the most recent 3 years.
- Science Reference Center
- Comprehensive research database that provides easy access to a multitude of full-text science-oriented content. Designed to meet every student's science research needs, Science Reference Center contains full text for hundreds of science encyclopedias, reference books, periodicals and other sources. Science Reference Center also satisfies the demand for standards-based content by providing teachers and librarians with articles correlated to state and national curriculum standards
- Coverage: varies
- Full-text articles online from Elsevier and Academic Press journals. Summary information about articles from all other Elsevier titles and some other publishers. Coverage includes all science areas and many social sciences and humanities areas.
- Coverage: 1907 - current
- SciFinder Web retrieves information contained in databases produced by Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) and Medline. It contains journal articles, patents, conference proceedings, dissertations, technical reports, books, and more, covering a wide spectrum of science-related information, including chemistry, biochemistry, and chemical engineering.
- Web Of Knowledge
- Coverage: 1900 - current
- Citation-based searching in all disciplines. Includes Science Citation Index (1900-present), Social Sciences Citation Index (1900-present), and Arts & Humanities Citation Index (1975-present). Web of Knowledge differs from Web of Science by including other databases such as Medline.
- Web Of Science
- Coverage: 1900 - current
- Citation-based searching in all disciplines. Includes Science Citation Index (1900-present), Social Sciences Citation Index (1900-present), and Arts & Humanities Citation Index (1975-present). Web of Science differs from Web of Knowledge by focusing on these three indexes.