Physics Guide

Overview / News



Welcome to UNB Libraries' (Saint John) guide to Physics and Astronomy. The purpose of this guide is to help you find resources related to these disciplines and enhance your learning. If you are taking a physics or physics related course at UNB Saint John, you may find you also have a specific course guide available.

How you want to begin your research depends on your topic and your knowledge. If your topic is brand new to you, you might want to start with book based material. The data and information in books, at least, in non-fiction, academic books, generally differs from that found in articles. It is presented at length but tends to be presented in less depth and with less specificity. Book content may be less "cutting edge" and more likely to present standard, and accepted information. Journal articles often present more controversial content and preliminary research results which require more testing before they are accepted.

For students, books are a logical starting point for research because they often introduce several relevant topics around a broader subject while articles often deal with a single, very specific topic with an assumed context -- that is, articles may assume an audience with a high level of subject knowledge.

Once you have some background on your topic which may help you think critically about related information and data, you will be ready to plunge into journal articles, grey literature, and beyond. Enjoy the search!

In this guide, you will find links leading you to reference materials (dictionaries, specialized encyclopedias, handbooks ...), books (both online and in print), databases (containing full-text journals, full-text articles, and linked material), and more. That said, not everything you will need will be here. Remember, you can always visit a library and ask a librarian for more help.

In addition to this subject guide to physics and astronomy, you might also wish to explore the:

UNB Libraries' (Saint John) Guide to Chemistry


News and Views

PhysicsWorld, Institute of Physics

Physics Today

FYI: Science Policy News, American Institute of Physics

EOS: Earth and Space Science News

@NASA, Twitter

@NASAHubble, Twitter


Reference / Statistics

More reference and statistical resources can also be found by checking UNB WorldCat, and the Reference Materials collection, or may be publicly accessible via the internet.


Alamancs, Encyclopedias

Astronomical Almanac Online, joint publication of the US Nautical Almanac Office, United States Naval Observatory, and Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office, United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, public access

Encyclopedia of Physics Research, licensed resource

Encyclopedia of the Solar System, licensed resource


Biographical Resources

Center for the History of Physics, AIP, public access

Einstein Archives Online, public access

Werner Heisenberg and the Uncertainty Principle, AIP, public access

Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers, licensed resource


Dictionaries, Thesauri

Dictionary of Physics, Oxford Reference, licensed resource

Dictionary of Astronomy, Oxford Reference, licensed resource

World of Physics, Wolfram Research, public access

SLACspeak: Glossary of SLAC-related abbreviations, acronyms, initialisms, terms and lingo, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, public access

Dictionary of Minor Planet names, licensed resource

Dictionary of geophysics, astrophysics, and astronomy, CRCnetBase, licensed resource

Unified Astronomy Thesaurus, public access


Handbooks, Manuals, Guides

Handbook of satellite orbits: from Kepler to GPS, licensed resource

Physical Reference Data, NIST, public access

NIST Reference on Constants, Units, and Uncertainty, public access

Handbook of Basic Atomic Spectroscopic Data, NIST, public access

Review of Particle Physics, "includes a compilation and evaluation of measurements of the properties of known elementary particles and summarizes searches for hypothetical new particles", public access


Maps, Atlases and Images

Astronomy Image Explorer, American Astronomical Society, public access

CFHT Image Gallery, Canadian - France - Hawaii Telescope, public access

Astronomy Pictures, Canadian Galactic Plane Survey, public access

Astropedia, Astrogeology Science Center, USGS, public access

Lunar Map Catalog, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Universities Space Research Association, public access

Aladin Sky Atlas, Strasbourg Observatory, public access

Image Gallery, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, public access


Statistics, Data Sets

[Physics Datasets],, public access

National Nuclear Data Center, Brookhaven National Laboratory, public access

High Energy Physics Data Repository, public access

CERN Open Data Portal, public access

SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System, Harvard, public access

Canadian Astronomy Data Centre, National Research Council Canada, public access

Data Services, USNO, public access

US Virtual Astronomical Observatory, public access

Strasbourg Astronomical Data Centre, public access

Data available from the Minor Planet Center, International Astronomical Union, public access

Books / Book-Length Works

UNB WorldCat searches the WorldCat database and offers up-to-date availability information for material held by UNB Libraries. WorldCat contains more than 130,000,000 bibliographic records (including books, journals, videos, music ...) referring to the holdings of libraries world wide. WorldCat also includes selected journal articles and internet resources.

Mobile users should note that although UNB Libraries has moved to a responsive web design, mobile interfaces and apps may NOT yet provide all the functionality of other types of web-based access.

Search UNB WorldCat:     

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

Please note: While many of the following items allow unlimited simultaneous users, in some cases, the item may allow only a single user at any given time.


Members of the UNB/STU community of users may also use UNB WorldCat, to access individual electronic book / book-length titles such as:

Fractional calculus: an introduction for physicists, Richard Herrmann, licensed resource

Particles and the universe: from the Ionian school to the Higgs boson and beyond, S Narison, licensed resource

Optics essentials: an interdisciplinary guide, Araz Yacoubian, licensed resource

Quantum spacetime: mimicry of paths and black holes, Marco Spaans, licensed resource

Low-frequency waves in space plasmas, Andreas Keiling, Dong-Hun Lee, and V M Nakariakov, licensed resource


As well, the University community may access several collections of electronic books including:

Institute of Physics Publishing, licensed resource

ProQuest Ebook Central, choose Browse by Subject, licensed resource


Some internet sites offer full-text, public access books and book-length works either as collections or as individual linked titles. Examples of such items related to physics and astronomy include:

Space and Aeronautics, National Academies Press, public access

Physics, National Academies Press, public access

Physics: SciTechConnect, US Department of Energy, public access

Comic Books, Physics Central, public access

Physics, Aristotle, Internet Classics Archive, public access

Opticks : or, A treatise of the reflections, refractions, inflections and colours of light, Isaac Newton,, public access

Sidereus nuncius [Starry Messenger], Galileo, Cambridge University, public access

De Mundi Aetherei Recentioribus Phaenomenis Liber Secundus, Tycho Brahe, Library of Congress Digital Collections, public access

Experimental Researches in Chemistry and Physics, Michael Faraday,, public access

Scientific Papers: Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Geology, volume 30, Harvard Classics,, public access


Article / Research Databases

For those interested in physics and astronomy, there are both licensed bibliographic databases, some of them listed in Key and Additional Resources below, as well as major public access databases.

These databases will be especially useful when you are beginning a research project and looking for information on a topic.

For more licensed databases, please see the Article Databases page.

Key Resources

  • 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.
  • Institute of Physics Publishing (IOP)
    The Institute of Physics Publishing promotes research and the advancement of knowledge in Physics and Physics-related fields. This resource provides access to eBooks, as well as current and archival journal content.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • American Physical Society
    The American Physical Society "publishes the world's most prestigious and widely-read physics research journals"
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Scitation Journals - AIP Publishing (formerly American Institute of Physics)
    Scitation Journals - AIP Publishing provides the global physical science community with a comprehensive collection of highly cited peer reviewed scientific information, accessed by researchers at nearly 4,000 institutions worldwide. Scitation Journals provides access to titles from the following publishers: American Association of Physics Teachers, American Institute of Physics, and Acoustical Society of America.

Additional Resources

  • MathSciNet
    MathSciNet "is a comprehensive database covering the world's mathematical literature."
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Other databases and search engines include:

WorldWideScience, US Department of Energy, e-Print archive, public access

Front Physics, Front for the arXiv, UC Davis, public access

Mathematical Physics Preprint Archive, University of Texas, public access

CERN Document Server, public access

INSPIRE: High-Energy Physics Literature Database, public access

Nuclear Science References, National Nuclear Data Center, Brookhaven National Laboratory, public access

Atomic Transition Probability Bibliographic Database, NIST, public access

Astrophysics Data System Abstract Service, SAO/NASA, public access

SIMBAD Astronomical Database, public access


There is also a number of individual periodical titles available (some licensed, some public access) including:

Chemical Physics, licensed resource

Contemporary Physics, licensed resource

International Journal of Theoretical Physics, licensed resource

Journal of atmospheric and solar-terrestrial physics, licensed resource

Journal of Biomedical Physics & Engineering, public access

Journal of Medical Physics, public access

Journal of Physics: Conference Series, public access

Reports on Mathematical Physics, licensed resource

Reviews of Modern Physics, licensed resource

Solar Physics, licensed resource


Internet / Multimedia


Collective Resources: Physics (Mostly)

TRIUMF, "Canada's national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics and accelerator-based science"

American Institute of Physics

Physics Central, American Physical Society, Institute of Physics

Online Particle Physics Information, SLAC Research Library

HyperPhysics Concepts, Georgia State University



Collective Resources: Astronomy (Mostly)

SkyView Virtual Observatory, NASA


Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Space Telescope Science Institute

Canadian Galactic Plane Survey

Minor Planet Center, International Astronomical Union

Lunar and Planetary Institute

Astrogeology Science Center, USGS

Center for Near Earth Object Studies, NASA


Associations, Societies ...

American Astronomical Society

American Institute of Physics

Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy

Canadian Association of Physicists

Canadian Astronomical Society

Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics

Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft

Institute of Physics

International Union of Pure and Applied Physics

Royal Astronomical Society

Universities Space Research Association


Government Departments, Agencies ...

Canadian Space Agency

NRC Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics, National Research Council Canada

Canadian Astronomy Data Centre, National Research Council Canada

Division of Physics, National Science Foundation, US

Physics, NIST, US

Physics, Los Alamos National Laboratory, US

Physics Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, US

Division of Astronomical Sciences, National Science Foundation, US

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA

Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA

European Space Agency



Physics, Science360

Podcasts and Vodcasts, Physics Central

Oral History Interviews, American Institute of Physics


Astronomy and Space, Science360

Video, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


Citing / Writing

Citations are a natural by-product of a good literature or bibliographic search -- they come from the results your search produces. They may be found, collectively, in bibliographic databases and citation indexes. They may be derived from statistical databases and other data collections. They may make reference to individual books, periodicals (journals, magazines and newspapers), working papers, and technical reports. They may be gathered from compilations such as bibliographies or appear in lists of works cited and references. Citations may also be produced in reference to material you read or heard, to images you discover, and to all kinds of electronic files which are displayed, read, played, or otherwise accessed.

To structure citations appropriately it helps to have a good guide. There are several standard guides from which you may choose. In university, choosing the "best" one will depend on the requirements of the assignment, the nature of the contents and the preferences of the individual professor.

Some guides emphasize a particular discipline, some are cross-discipline and some may emphasize a particular form of material.


Style Guides

Instruction for Authors, Canadian Journal of Physica

Author Resource Center, AIP

Information for Authors, Physical Review Journals


Abbreviations and Acronyms

Journal Title Abbreviations, Web of Science


Citation Management Software


UNB Libraries' Guide to Zotero



Data Management / Curation

Framework for Creating a Data Management Plan, ICPSR, University of Michigan

Create and Manage Data, UK Data Archive

Data Management Plans, Digital Curation Centre, UK

Checklist, Digital Curation Centre, UK

Mendeley Datasets

Creative Commons