Research in Physics
The following is a selected list of resources for starting research in Physics, including astrophysics and astronomy. For further assistance, contact a science reference librarian.
These sources can help you identify a topic for your research, provide an overview of a specific issue or topic, and suggest other materials which might be useful for your research. All of the books below are located in the Science Reference area.
- Subject Encyclopedias and Other Reference Works
Subject encyclopedias provide introductory articles with references, and thus can be a very useful starting point. General physics encyclopedias are located in Science Reference, mostly at the beginning of the QC section. There also are physics dictionaries and handbooks in this section. More specialized references on astronomy and astrophysics, and on physics sub-disciplines, will be located in QB, and elsewhere in QC, respectively. Below are some titles that may be helpful.
- Dictionary of Physics, 2009. Alan Isaacs. [Also, QC5 .D496 2001]
- Dictionary of Pure and Applied Physics. Dipak Basu. [QC5 .D485 2001]
- Encyclopedia of Applied Physics [QC5 .E543 2004] 12 volumes
- Encyclopedia of Physical Science and Technology, 3rd ed. [Q123 .E497 2002]
This 18-volume work covers physics, chemistry, engineering and materials science.
- Oxford Reference Online: Physical Sciences and Mathematics
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Cambridge Concise History of Astronomy. [QB15 .C355 1999]
- Cambridge Dictionary of Astronomy. Jacqueline Mitton. [QB14 .M55 2001]
- A Dictionary of Astronomy. Ian Ridpath, rev. ed. [QB14 .D52 2003]
- Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics. [QB14 .E534 2001] 4 volumes
- Encyclopedia of the Solar System. [QB501 .E53 1999]
- Gravitation and Spacetime, 2nd ed. Hans C. Ohanian. [QC178 .O35 1994]
- Monthly Sky Guide, 7th ed. Ian Ridpath. [QB63 .R525 2006]
- Nuclear Astrophysics Bibliography
- Unified Astronomy Thesaurus
- High Energy and Particle Phyics
- Particle Data Group: Review of Particle Physics
Provides tables, plots, reviews, conservation laws, particle listings.
- Particle Detector BriefBook. [QC787.C6 B64 1998]
- Q is for Quantum: An Encyclopedia of Particle Physics. John Gribbin. [QC793.2 .G747 1998]
- Glossary: SLAC Virtual Visitor Center
A glossary of high energy physics terms, with links to further information, from the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.
- Particle Data Group: Review of Particle Physics
- Materials Science and Optics
- Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology. [TA1509 .P33 2008 2 vols.]
- Encyclopedia of Materials: Science and Technology [TA402 .E53 2001] 11 volumes
- Optics Encyclopedia: Basic Foundations and Practical Applications. [QC351.2 .O64 2004] 5 volumes
- Optics Source Book. [QC355.2 .O69 1988]
A lot of basic optics information gathered into one book.
- Springer Handbook of Atomic, Molecular & Optical Physics [QC173 .S5985 2006]
If you just want to look for current topics, try browsing through current physics journals such as Physics Today and Physics World. You will find them on the Current Journals shelves in the Science Library, shelved alphabetically by title.
To find out what journals you can access electronically at the UO, use FindText.
- American Institute of Physics Handbook. [QC61 .A5 1972]
- Conversion of Units
Allows you to enter a numerical value, select a unit, and convert it to another unit.
- Data Analysis Brief Book from CERN
- Fundamental Physical Constants from NIST
- Handbook of Physical Quantities. [QC61 .P49 1989]
Includes materials, semiconductors, optical properties.
- National Nuclear Data Center, Brookhaven National Laboratory
- NIST Physical Reference Data
- Physicist's Desk Reference. [QC61 .P49 1989]
- Physics Quick Reference Guide. [QC61 .C65 1996]
Quick look-up for units, symbols, constants, formulae.
To look for articles in journals, newspapers, or magazines, you will need to start with an index or database (online index.) An index will allow you to look by subject or a few keywords which describe your topic, or by author.
- arXiv.org e-Print archive
This is a searchable database of electronic preprints ("e-prints") in physics and related disciplines. Many of the papers posted here are later published in peer-reviewed journals.
- IEEE Xplore
Covers journals and conference proceedings in computer science and many areas of interest to physics, particularly materials science, optics, and nanotechnology. Full text of IEEE journals from 1998-present.
will email you the table of contents from any of more than 30,000 journals or magazines, both online and in print. From the ingenta homepage, click "Register," then "Manage My Ingenta."
- NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
Consists of four searchable databases of abstracts of articles in astronomy and astrophysics, instrumentation, and physics and geophysics. Some full-text articles, as well as astronomy preprints, are available, including digitized historical astronomy and astrophysics literature.
- SPIRES HEP
A high energy physics literature database maintained by the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center Library.
- Web of Science
This interdisciplinary database allows you to find out who has cited a known reference, as well as searching for current research articles by author, topic, etc., from 1975 to the present. Click on the button to see if the UO has the article in electronic full-text. If not, you can check if the UO Libraries own a print copy of the journal containing an article you want, or request it from another library.
- Review Articles
Review articles provide a synopsis of the research in a particular area and can be good for getting an idea for a topic that's been thoroughly researched. These articles have comprehensive bibliographies, so you will have many potentially useful references to pursue. Some databases such as Web of Science allow you to limit your search to reviews. While many research journals publish the occasional review article, there also are "review journals", which publish reviews exclusively. A good place to start searching for review articles is the Annual Reviews: Physical Sciences suite of journals, which includes, among others:
- Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Annual Review of Biophysics and Biomolecular Structure
- Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences
- Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics
- Annual Review of Materials Research
- Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science
- Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Print volumes of the above titles may be found in the Science Library, Bound Journals, alphabetically by title.
- See also IOP Physics Reviews -- a collection of review articles published in Institute of Physics journals.
- UO Library Catalog
Identify books by topic, title or author; identify journals and magazines owned by the UO Library. To find journal articles on your topic, use the databases listed in the section above. Once you have a citation, you can check the library catalog by doing a title search on the name of the journal to see if we have it here.
- Summit: The Orbis Cascade Alliance Union Catalog
A library catalog that combines information from Northwest academic libraries into a single unified database, putting millions of items at your fingertips. Look here first for books the UO does not own or that are not available for checkout. UO students and faculty may borrow books from Orbis-Cascade institutions by selecting the 'Request Item' option. Within 3 days the book requested should be on hold for you at Knight Library. You can request books and some other types of material, but not journal articles.
WorldCat provides access to library catalogs from around the world. The database contains bibliographic records describing books, dissertations, journals, maps, electronic and internet resources, manuscripts, and more. From within this database, you can check if UO owns a book of interest, and if not, request an interlibrary loan. (Always check Orbis first, though.)
- UO Department of Physics
- UO Center for High Energy Physics
- UO Institute of Theoretical Science
- UO Materials Science Institute
- Oregon Center for Optics
- Pine Mountain Observatory
- Graduate Programs in Physics, Astronomy and Related Fields [QC16.2.G7 2002]
- American Astronomical Society
- American Geophysical Union
- American Institute of Physics
- American Physical Society
- Astronomical Society of the Pacific
- Optical Society of America
- Dr. Dark Matter's Electronic Universe: An educational outreach server at the UO maintained by Dr. Greg Bothun.
- The Net Advance of Physics: Review Articles and Tutorials in an Encyclopædic Format, from MIT.
- The Particle Adventure: This government-sponsored site provides an entertaining introduction to particle physics, with a glossary and particle charts.
- Physical Review Focus: Selections from Physical Review and Physical Review Letters explained for students and researchers in all fields of physics.
- Physics News Update: A digest of physics news items arising from physics meetings, physics journals, newspapers and magazines, and other news sources; source for "hot" research topics.
- Physics Web: A site from the Institute of Physics (UK), providing news, events, products and physics job listings.
- SLAC Virtual Visitors Center: "User-friendly" information about the theory, equipment, applications, and experiments of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. (UO high energy physicists are involved in two major research projects at SLAC.)
- "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, or, Why It's a Good Idea to Evaluate Web Sources"
For more information contact Margaret Bean, Head, Science Library