Physics Guide

Find Articles

When searching for journal articles, an indexing and abstracting database is usually the best place to begin. Below are some recommended databases for research in Physics.

Key Resources

    "Open access to 674,613 e-prints in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance and Statistics"--Home page.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Inspec (Engineering Village)
    "Inspec is the world’s leading bibliographic database, providing comprehensive access to the world's scientific and technical literature in physics, electrical engineering, electronics, communications, control engineering, computers, computing, information technology, manufacturing, production and mechanical engineering. First published in 1898 as the Scientific Abstracts, Inspec now contains close to 10 million bibliographic records taken from more than 3850 scientific and technical journals and 2200 conference proceedings, as well as numerous books, reports, dissertations and patents, many with full-text linking."
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Scopus
    Scopus, a new multidisciplinary online resource, will be invaluable to students and faculty in various fields of study within the sciences, health sciences and the social sciences. Scopus offers full-text linking, abstracting-and-indexing information and provides access to over 66 million abstracts dating back to 1966.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Google Scholar
    Google Scholar searches a subset of the Web that Google has classified as "scholarly literature". They do not publish a list of chosen sites, and they do not state how often sites are checked. Some important sources are not covered at all. Thus, Google Scholar alone should not be relied on for comprehensive research.
    By accessing Google Scholar via the UNB Libraries website, you benefit from technology that lets on-campus and off-campus users connect directly to full-text articles in journals to which UNB subscribes. Just click on the blue Title link in the Google result list.
    Off-campus users can also set Scholar Preferences to show the "Check for fulltext @ UNB" link in search results. See "Scholar Preferences" at the Google Scholar site.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Chemical Abstracts (SciFinder Web)
    Produced by the American Chemical Society, this is considered to be the most current and comprehensive information source for literature in chemistry and related sciences such as: proteomics, genomics, biochemistry, biochemical genetics, engineering and physics.
    Unlimited simultaneous users
  • IEEE Xplore Digital Library
    The IEEE Xplore Digital Library is a powerful resource for discovery and access to scientific and technical content published by IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and its publishing partners. This resource provides Web access to almost 3-million full-text documents from some of the world's most highly cited publications in electrical engineering, computer science and electronics, including:
    IEEE journals, transactions, and magazines, including early access documents
    IEEE conference proceedings
    IET journals
    IET conference proceedings
    IEEE published standards
    IEEE Standards Dictionary Online
    Note: limited to 10 simultaneous users.

    10 simultaneous users.
  • MathSciNet
    MathSciNet "is a comprehensive database covering the world's mathematical literature."
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Dissertations & Theses (ProQuest PQDT: formerly Digital Dissertations)
    ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (formerly Digital Dissertations) "is the single, authoritative source for information about doctoral dissertations and master's theses. The database represents the work of authors from over 1,000 graduate schools and universities."
    All PhD dissertations and Master's theses from depositing universities are available from 1997 onwards, unless the document's author has requested a temporary delay.
    It is also possible to search within an interface exclusive to Dissertations & Theses @ University of New Brunswick.

    Unlimited simultaneous users.

Additional Resources

  • INIS (International Nuclear Information Systems)
    International Nuclear Information System (INIS), provides indexing for scientific literature published worldwide on the peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology. It accesses technical data, references, and bibliographies from the world's biggest digital nuclear reference centers in fields of nuclear science and technology.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.

Key Article Databases

Provides comprehensive access to international scientific and technical literature in physics, electrical engineering, electronics, communications, control engineering, computers, computing, information technology, manufacturing, production and mechanical engineering. Under the name Scientific Abstracts, the contents date back to 1898 and now contains close to 10 million bibliographic records taken from more than 3850 scientific and technical journals and 2200 conference proceedings, including numerous books, reports, dissertations and patents. Many records supply full-text linking.


Key Full-Text Journal Sources

Review Articles

Reviews can be found in many of the major physics journals. However, listed below are titles that specialize in reviews.


Find Facts


When researching a new topic it is often helpful to get an overview, explanations of unfamiliar terms, or brief factual information. The print and electronic resources listed below include selected reference materials (dictionaries, encyclopaedias, handbooks, guides, and standards) for the field of Physics. To find additional reference materials, check WorldCat (the library catalogue) or our Reference Materials database.

Key Resources

  • Astronomy Encyclopedia
    see also [SCI-REF QB14 .A875 2002]

    A section of star maps contributed by Wil Tirion are this encyclopedia's only appendix: unlike other astronomy encyclopedias, this one places tables of data (such as the Messier and Caldwell catalogs) right where you'd expect to find them (under "M" and "C" respectively. The more than 3000 concise entries are arranged alphabetically and provide accessible descriptions of astronomical terms and concepts, famous astronomers, telescopes and observatories, associations and institutions, and specialized areas of research. Topics include neutrino astronomy, the grand unified theory, curvature of spacetime, lunisolar precession, Mayan astronomy, novae, and the Next Generation Space Telescope. Many fine color illustrations are included throughout. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR ( Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • Encyclopedia of Physics [SCI-REF QC5 .E545 1991]

    Completely revised to reflect the many developments in the field, the third edition of this reference features contributions by the most respected figures in the field. Among the topics new to this edition are atomic trapping and cooling, biophotonics, econophysics, the formation of stars and planets, quantum communication, space science and technology, and traffic flow. Each of the more than 500 entries are signed and most include a list of cross references. In addition, each chapter concludes with a list of bibliography, often divided by subject. The entries begin with a brief introduction and background to the topic, followed by discussion of its properties and methods of study, making this an excellent resource for advanced college students as well as specialists who wish to be up to date on areas of research outside their own. Annotation #169;2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR ( Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics
    CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics is a ready-reference book of chemical and physical data. The print copy of CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics is the premier source not only of physical properties data but also of mathematical tables, sources of critical data, chemical nomenclature, symbols, and terminology. It has been published since 1913; and is updated and enhanced annually.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Dictionary of Minor Planet Names

    Dictionary of Minor Planet Names, Fifth Edition, is the official reference for the field of the IAU, which serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and any surface features on them. The accelerating rate of the discovery of minor planets has not only made a new edition of this established compendium necessary but has also significantly altered its scope: this thoroughly revised edition concentrates on the approximately 10,000 minor planets that carry a name. It provides authoritative information about the basis for all names of minor planets.

  • Dictionary of Physics, A

    Contains over 3,800 entries covering all commonly encountered physics terms and concepts, as well as terms from the related fields of astronomy, astrophysics, and physical chemistry. Includes 200 new entries and expanded coverage in areas including applied physics, statistical distributions, polymers, and nanoscience. Provides in-depth analysis of key topics such as crystal defects, magnetic resonance imaging, the solar system, low-temperature physics, nanophysics, and quantum entanglement.

  • Dictionary of physics, A
    "Comprehensive and up-to-date, this is the ideal reference tool for students of physics, either at school or at university. Containing thousands of entries, including biographies of key scientists, it covers all the commonly encountered terms and concepts and includes feature articles on important topics, and chronologies that chart discoveries in main fields of the subject."
    5 simultaneous users.
  • Dictionary of Pure and Applied Physics

    Offers concise definitions of more than 3,000 terms covering a range of pure and applied disciplines such as accoustics, geometrical optics, low-temperature physics, and physical optics. This book is suitable for physicists, engineers, mathematicians, and technical writers.

  • Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Astronomy [SCI-REF QB14 .K58 2002]

    This new Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Astronomy is written specifically for the practical amateur astronomer. In addition to more than 1800 extended definitions that provide information and instruction on many topics, it provides an invaluable reference source for terms, techniques, instruments, formulas and processes for practicing observers -- both amateur and professional. Also featured are extensive appendices, including the Messier and Caldwell catalogs. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • Encyclopedia of Chemical Physics and Physical Chemistry [multiple locations SCI-REF QD451. E63 2001 vols. 1-3]

    Covers the mechanics of atoms and molecules and their interactions, the macroscopic and statistical description of systems at equilibrium, and the basic ways of treating reacting systems. This work provides instrumentation and fundamental theory employed in the major spectroscopic techniques and the experimental means for characterizing materials.

  • Encyclopedia of Modern Physics [SCI-REF QC5 .E544 1990]
  • Handbook of molecular physics and quantum chemistry [SCI-REF QD461 .H22 2003]

    Published in three volumes, this comprehensive reference work brings together in a single source for the first time, a detailed presentation of the most important theoretical concepts and methods for the study of molecules and molecular systems. The logical format of the Handbook allows the reader to progress from the foundations of the field to the most important and exciting areas of current research. Edited and written by an outstanding international team, and containing over 100 articles written by more than 50 contributors, it will be invaluable for both the expert researcher and the graduate student or postdoctoral worker active in any of the broad range of fields where these concepts and methods are important. Comprises three themed volumes: Fundamentals Molecular Electronic Structure Molecules in the Physico-Chemical Environment: Spectroscopy, Dynamics and Bulk Properties Presents detailed articles covering the key topics, presented in a didactic manner Focuses both on theory and the relation of experiment to theory Volume 1, Fundamentals presents the foundations of molecular physics and quantum chemistry. It consists of 7 parts arranged as follows:- Part 1 Introduction Part 2 Elements of Quantum Mechanics Part 3 Orbital Models for Atomic, Molecular and Crystal Structure Part 4 Symmetry Groups and Molecular Structure Part 5 Second Quantization and Many-Body Methods Part 6 Approximate Separation of Electronic and Nuclear Motion Part 7 Quantum Electrodynamics of Atoms and Molecules The central problem of molecular physics and quantum chemistry is the description of atomic and molecular electronic structure. The development of appropriate models for the description of the effects of electron correlation and of relativity are key components of the analysis. Volume 2, Molecular Electronic Structure, addresses these topics, and consists of 7 parts arranged as follows: Part 1 Approximation methods Part 2 Orbital Models and Generalized Product Functions Part 3 Electron correlation Part 4 Relativistic molecular electronic structure Part 5 Electronic structure of large molecules Part 6 Computational quantum chemistry Part 7 Visualization and interpretation of molecular electronic structure In reality no molecular system exists in isolation. Molecules interact with other atoms and molecules, and with their environment. Volume 3, Molecules in the Physico-Chemical Environment - Spectroscopy, Dynamics and Bulk Properties, consists of 7 parts arranged as follows:- Part 1 Response theory and propagator methods Part 2 Interactions between molecules Part 3 Molecules in different environments Part 4 Molecular Electronic spectra Part 5 Atomic Spectroscopy and Molecular Vibration-Rotation Spectroscopy Part 6 Molecular dynamics and dynamical processes Part 7 Bulk properties Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

Additional Resources

  • International Critical Tables of Numerical Data, Physics, Chemistry and Technology [SCI-STOR Q199 .N32 vols. 1-7]
  • Dictionary of astronomy, A
    "Cutting a clear path through the complex technical language of astronomy this dictionary will be invaluable to students, professionals, and amateur astronomers seeking a comprehensive source of helpful information. Written by Ian Ridpath, a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and renowned author and broadcaster, with an expert team of contributors, the dictionary ranges from astrophysics and cosmology to galaxies and time, space missions and telescopes to black holes and solar waves."
    5 simultaneous users.
  • Dictionary of Astronomy, A

    The revised second edition of this established dictionary contains over 4,300 up-to-date entries covering all aspects of astronomy. Compiled with the help of over 20 expert contributors under the editorship of renowned author and broadcaster Ian Ridpath, A Dictionary of Astronomy covers everything from space exploration and the equipment involved, to astrophysics, cosmology, and the concept of time.

  • Oxford Guide to the History of Physics and Astronomy, The [SCI-STACKS QC7 .O94 2005]

    Encompassing more than 200 alphabetically arranged entries, The Oxford Guide to the History of Physics and Astronomy traces the evolution of these bodies of knowledge as well as planetary science from the Renaissance to the beginning of the twenty-first century. For students, teachers, scientists, and readers of popular science books, the Guide deciphers the techniques and philosophies of physics and astronomy as well as the historical periods from which they emerged. Inside are Galileo's falling bodies, Newton's world system, pulsars and quasars, and proper quanta of other topics as illuminating as Light, as absorbing as Black Holes, and as expansive as the Theory of Everything. Biographies of leading contributors to natural knowledge, arranged where appropriate in pairs as in Plutarch's Lives, connect the personal with the general development of scientific ideas and the wider course of discovery. Whatever your topic in the history of modern astronomy, physics, or the planetary sciences, this convenient handbook is the single best place to begin or refresh your study. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • Springer Handbook of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
    see also [SCI-REF QC173 .S668 2006]

    CD-ROM available in SCI-CDROM.

  • Twentieth Century Physics [SCI-REF QC7 .T84 1995 vols. 1-3]

    Twentieth Century Physics is a major historical study of the scientific and cultural development of physics in our century. Published jointly by the American Institute of Physics and the Institute of Physics (U.K.), this unparalled three-volume work offers an engaging, scholarly overview of the evolution of modern physics.


Find Books

To search for books at UNB Libraries, use UNB WorldCat. UNB WorldCat identifies books held by UNB Libraries and beyond. UNB WorldCat has also added millions of articles that are searched along with entries for books. 

Search UNB WorldCat:     

Advanced Search | Locations Guide | Other Catalogues | Help/FAQ

Explore the Reference Universe

Reference Universe searches through article titles and back-of-the-book indexes from over 20,000 print and electronic reference works at UNB Libraries and beyond. Search results from Reference Universe will provide you with quick links to UNB WorldCat (to locate print materials on the shelf) and to many of our online reference materials.

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To browse the shelves for books in Physics at the Science & Forestry Library, try the following ranges:

QB 1-991 Astronomy
QB 1-139 General
QB 460-466 Astrophysics
QC 1-75 General
QC 170-197 Atomic Physics
QC 251-338.5 Heat, Thermodynamics
QC 350-467 Optics, Light Spectroscopy
QC5 01-766 Electricity and Magnetism
QC770-798 Nuclear and Particle Physics
QC 851-999 Meteorology, Climatology

To search for materials not held by UNB Libraries, try World Cat or select from our list of other library catalogues. Books and other materials not available at UNB may be available for loan from another institution through our document delivery service. See the document delivery page for electronic request forms and more details.


Find Websites

While there is a wealth of information freely available on the internet, not all sites are created equal. Careful evaluation is a critical part of doing research on the Internet.   Below are some recommended sites:

General Sites

Conference Proceedings, Preprints

Physical properties and spectra Internet sites

  • Physical Data Group
  • Physical Reference Data
  • SDBS
    spectral database for organic compounds

Feynman Lectures


Citing Your Sources

Accurate, properly formatted footnotes, reading lists, and bibliographies are hallmarks of good academic research. Through citing, you acknowledge the source of any ideas you mention in your writing, document the "pedigree" of your research, and provide the information your readers need to track down your sources.

Numerous citation styles exist, and each specifies what elements are required (title, author, journal name, etc.) and how the citation should be formatted. The standard citation style for Physics is AIP.  Your instructor may require or recommend that you use another. Consult your course syllabus or check with your instructor to be sure of using the correct citation style for your assignment.


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