Use this guide to quickly find reputable sources and save time on your research! Contact your subject librarian or the reference librarians if you need more help. For an overview of how to research efficiently, see Steps of the Research Process.

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Finding Materials in the Library

Search CityCat to find books, e-books, disks and more. There are many ways to search, such as Title, Author and Keyword.

Books in the library are organized by call number according to the Library of Congress classification system which groups items by subject, so you can often simply browse the shelves. Here are some relevant subjects and their call numbers:

    Subject Call Number
  General Physics QC1-75
  Atomic Physics QC170-197
  Acoustics QC221-246
  Heat & Thermodynamics QC251-338.5
  Optics, Light QC350-467
  Electricity & Magnetism QC501-766
  Nuclear & Particle Physics QC770-798
  Geophysics & Geomagnetism QC801-849
  Meteorology & Climatology QC851-999

Reference Sources

Reference books are great for short overviews and background information. There are also reference resources in our database section.


Use databases for specialized and the most up-to-date information, especially academic (scholarly) sources that are not available for free on the Web. See the Articles & Databases page for a full list of databases available.

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Web Sites

Use Web sites for government information, statistics, and current events. It's very important to carefully evaluate Web sites for accuracy, currency, bias and credibility.

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