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The word ‘Physics’ is from the Latin word Physis which means growth, nature. Physics is “a science that deals with matter and energy and their interactions” or “the physical processes and phenomema of a particular system”.


Physics literature includes both print and electronic materials. Besides books, journal is another information source that is important to physicists. To understand the journals in Physics, you can refer to Guide to information sources in the physical sciences by David Stern. In chapter 3 of this book, the author provided some major journals in Physics, including lists of journals with titles ‘Significant Core Physics Journal Collection’, ‘Interdisciplinary Journals Covering Physics’ and ‘Selected Physics Journals by Subdiscipline’.


This may be a good starting point to know where physicists are publishing. Not forgetting that Physicists published in pre-prints too, especially for the high energy physicists.

Topics/Course Guides

Resource Guide for Semiconductors

This is a select list of resources on Semiconductors. It aims to serve as a starting point for students to find out more about the subject. Contents at a glance Books & E-Books Reference Works E-Journals Web Resources Videos Books and E-books You can browse books in...

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Feel free to contact the library for your Research needs such as:

  1. Enquiries about library resources
  2. Requests for new resources
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  4. Instructional classes
  5. Research Assistance

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Tel: (65) 6790 5776
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NTU Library Homepage

Selected Resources


Our print collection is classified according to the Library of Congress Classification System. You can use the Library Catalogue to search for specific books or browse related books.

Browsing the book collection

The Physics book collection is located at Level 4 of Lee Wee Nam Library, under the Science Collection. They are classified with call numbers beginning with QC. To browse the collection, you can make use of the brief LC classification for Physics (see table below).

Subject Call No.
Astronomy QB1-991
Physics QC1-999
General (Mathematical physics) QC1-75
Weights and measures QC81-114
Descriptive and experimental mechanics QC120-168.85
Atomic physics. Constitution and properties of matter (Including molecular physics, condensed matter physics, relativity, quantum theory, and solid state physics) QC170-197
Acoustics. Sound QC221-246
Heat QC251-338.5
Thermodynamics QC310.15-319
Optics. Light QC350-467
Spectroscopy QC450-467
Radiation physics (General) QC474-496.9
Electricity and magnetism (Including semiconductor physics, superconductivity physics, quantum electronics) QC501-766
Nuclear and particle physics. Atomic energy. Radioactivity (Elementary particle physics | Radioactivity and radioactive substances) QC770-798
Geophysics. Cosmic physics QC801-809
Geomagnetism QC811-849
Meteorology. Climatology.
(Meteorological optics | Climatology and weather | Weather forecasting)


Searching for books

You can use the Library Catalogue to search for specific books or to search for related books. To look for related books, use ‘Advanced Search’ of the Library Catalogue and search using the ‘subject’ or ‘call number’ fields.

How to look for related or similar titles using the Library Catalogue records?

  1. Look at the titles under ‘Similar Books’ if it is available (see example below).
  2. Click on the assigned subject term. This will give you the titles with the same subject (see example below).


A list of books on physics related subject topics is given below:

Mathematical physics
Quantum Mechanics
Solid state physics
Statistical physics

Besides the above, you may want to learn more catalogue tips.

If you are looking for a particular book and it cannot be found in our library collection, you may want to recommend it to the library for purchase. See Recommending Book Purchase for more details.


Electronic books, commonly known as e-books are also subscribed by the Library. You can browse the e-books by providers or search the e-books via the Library Catalogue.

Browsing by e-book providers

You can find physics related e-books from the following providers:

  1. CRCnetBASE
    Browse by subject – Physics which includes sub-categories like Applied Mechanics & Fluid Dynamics, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Atomic & Molecular Physics, Biophysics, Chemical Physics, Computational Physics, Condensed Matter & Materials Science, General & Introductory Physics, Lasers, Optics & Optoelectronics, Mathematical Physics, Nonlinear Physics, Plasma Physics, Quantum Physics and Statistical Physics & Thermodynamics.
  2. Elsevier Reference Works and Book Series
    Browse by subject, ‘Physical Sciences and Engineering’ –> ‘Physics and Astronomy’. See titles with ‘Content Type’ as ‘Book’ and ‘Book Series’. Titles under our subscription are indicated by the green key icon.
  3. SpringerLink
    Browse subject collection, ‘Physics & Astronomy’ and filter by ‘books’ or ‘book series’. Look out for the Lecture Notes in Physics book series.

Other E-book Providers are listed in the library database page.

Searching for e-books

Individual e-book titles are searchable from the Library Catalogue. Refer to these instructions on how to search individual e-book titles.

Reference Works

Reference works are authoritative works that you can refer to for specific answers or information. There are many types of reference works. They include dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, thesauri, directories and almanacs, etc.

Browsing by Reference type

The Library has both print and online reference materials.

Below are some recommended reference works for Physics that are available in the Library:

AIP physics desk reference

Richard E. Cohen
Call No.: QC61.A297 (Science Collection, Lee Wee Nam Library)


  1. A dictionary of physics
    John Daintith
  2. Encyclopedic dictionary of condensed matter physics
    Charles P. Poole Jr.
    Call No.: QC176.F567 V1 & V2 (Science Collection, Lee Wee Nam Library)


  1. Encyclopedia of atmospheric sciences
    James R. Holton
    Call No.: QC854.E56 V1 to V6 (Science Collection, Lee Wee Nam Library)
  2. Encyclopedia of Physics
    Rita G. Lerner
    Call No.: QC5.E56 (Science Collection, Lee Wee Nam Library)


  1. The Cambridge Handbook of Physics Formulas
    Graham Woan
    Call No.: QC61.W837 (Science Collection, Lee Wee Nam Library)
  2. CRC handbook of chemistry and physics
    Call No.: QD65.C911 (Science Collection, Lee Wee Nam Library)
  3. Handbook of physical calculations: Definitions, formulas, technical applications, physical tables, conversion tables, graphs, dictionary of physical terms
    Jan J. Tuma
    Call No.: QC61.T925 (Science Collection, Lee Wee Nam Library)
  4. Handbook of Physics
    Walter Benenson
    Call No.: QC61.H236 (Science Collection, Lee Wee Nam Library)
  5. Tables of physical and chemical constants and some mathematical functions
    G. W. C. Kaye
    Call No.: QC61.K23 (Science Collection, Lee Wee Nam Library)
Searching for reference works

You can specify that you want to find a dictionary, encyclopedia, handbook or directory in theLibrary Catalogue by using the plural form (e.g. dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks) in the ‘subject’ field when using the ‘Advanced Search’. See step-by-step instructions.


You will find journal articles, conference papers, book chapters, reviews and reports in these databases.

Databases subscribed by the Library

(Click icircle to find out more information about the databases)

  1. Inspec     Bibliographic database that include citations and indexed abstracts from publications in the fields of Physics, Material Science, Oceanography, Nuclear Engineering, Environmental Science, Geophysics, Nanotechnology and Biophysics.
  2. SciVerse ScienceDirect     Journals, book series, books, reference works in the subjects of Physical Sciences and Engineering, Life Sciences, Health Sciences & Social Sciences and Humanities.
  3. SciVerse Scopus     Multi-disciplinary, bibliographic database covering Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Health Sciences and Social Sciences.
  4. SPIE Digital Library     Journals and conference proceedings in the areas of Optics and Photonics by the International Society of Optical Engineering.
  5. SpringerLink     Journals, book series, books, reference works in multidisciplinary subjects including Physics and Astronomy, Biomedical and Life Sciences, Chemistry and Materials Science, Earth and Environmental Science & Mathematics and Statistics.
  6. Web of Science     Multidisciplinary, citation searching database covering journals and conference proceedings in the Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities.

You can also look at other physics related databases at our database page.

Freely available databases

  1. e-Print archive Electronic preprints of scientific papers in the fields of physics, mathematics and computer science.
  2. Directory of Open Access Journals Free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals. Browse by subject, ‘Physics and Astronomy’ or ‘Science General’.
  3. INSPIRE Community-based information system for High Energy Physics, run by CERN, Fermilab, DESY and SLAC.

NTU Library subscribed to most of the journals published by reputable physics societies. We have journals from the American Physical Society (APS), American Institute of Physics (AIP), Institute of Physics (IOP) and Optical Society of America (OSA).

NTU Library Subscribed E-journals A-to-Z List

If you have a specific journal in mind, you can check if the Library subscribed to the electronic version of the journal by using the ‘Search’ tab of our E-journals A-to-Z List .

Besides searching, the ‘Index’ tab at the E-journals A-to-Z List gives you the choice of browsing the subscribed e-journals by providers (e.g. American Institute of Physics, American Physical Society, etc).





If you are not looking for a specific journal, but are thinking of doing a subject or topical search, you can use the suggested databases under the Selected Generic Resources” section.

Print Journals

Some print journals are also available. The print journals are located at Level 2 (current periodicals, current issues) and Level 5 (bound periodicals, older issues) of Lee Wee Nam Library. To check the availability of print journals, you can use the Library Catalogue and search using the ‘journal title’ field if you know the title of the journal.

If you are unable to locate the journal article that you need for your research, you may want to use our Document Delivery Service to request for the Library to purchase the article.


The Audio Visual collection is located at Level B2 in the Business Library (Blk N2 Level B2). Audio Visual materials are also searchable via the Library Catalogue. This is an example of how to retrieve AV materials from the Library Catalogue. And here is a search result for AV materials with the subject ‘Physics’ using the Library Catalogue.

Web Resources

Below is a list of selected Physics web resources.

Content at a Glance

Subjects specific
Search Engines
Website – Scholarly Societies


  1. MIT OpenCourseWare
    – Free Online Course Materials
  2. National Science Foundation (NSF)
    – US National Science Foundation
  3. The Nobel Prize in Physics
    – Your guide to Physics on the web
    – News, views and information for the global physics community from IOP Publishing
  6. PhysNet
    – The physics departments and documents network

Subjects specific

  1. CERN
    – European Organization for Nuclear Research
  2. Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology
    – An Open Access Encyclopedia for Photonics and Laser Technology
    – A community website on the science, industry and applications of nanotechnology

Search Engines

  1. Google Scholar – Provides a search of scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources, including theses, books, abstracts and articles.
  2. Intute
    – Free online service that provides web resources selected by subject specialists
  3. Scitopia
    – Free federated search tool for scholarly literature of various leading science and technology publishers
    – Comprehensive virtual library and reference tool for academic and scholarly Internet resources, built by librarians

Website – Scholarly Societies

  1. Acoustical Society of America (ASA)
  2. Acoustical Society of Japan (ASJ)
  3. American Institute of Physics (AIP)
  4. American Physical Society (APS)
  5. American Vacuum Society (AVS)
  6. Australian Institute of Physics (AIP)
  7. Biophysical Society (BS)
  8. European Optical Society (EOS)
  9. European Physical Society (EPS)
  10. Institute of Physics (IOP)
  11. International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE)
  12. International Union of Pure and Applied Biophysics (IUPAB)
  13. International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP)
  14. Optical Society of America (OSA)
  15. Physical Society of Japan (JPS)

Reserves / RBR titles / Red-spot books are the recommended textbooks for your course modules selected by your lecturers. The Reserves collection for Physics is located at the Library Outpost (Learning Hub level 1), with Year 1 & 2 books in the ARM (Automated Reserves Machine) outside the Library Outpost. Refer to Borrowing Privileges for Students and Borrowing Privileges for Staff for details on borrowing of reserves titles for students and staff respectively.

Searching for Reserves

You can search for reserves titles using the Library Catalogue, by following the steps below:

  1. Go to the Library Catalogue.
  2. Click on ‘Reserves’ in the drop-down list.
  3. Key in the ‘course code’ (e.g. PAP213) in the search box.
  4. Click ‘Search by Course ID’ to see the reserves titles.
Student Works

The Library collects NTU student publications (final year project reports and theses) in our Digital Repository, DR-NTU (Restricted Access).

As a staff or student of NTU, you will need to log in using your NTU network username and password to view the student publications.

Searching for Students’ Works

At the SPMS Student Reports page, you can

  1. Browse by ‘Titles’, ‘Authors’ or ‘Subjects’ (e.g. subject Science::Physics::Heat and thermodynamics),
  2. Search using keywords or
  3. Search by supervisor’s name.

Staff Publications

Publications (both journal and conference articles) by NTU staff are collected in our open access institutional repository, DR-NTU (Open Access).

You can browse or search the SPMS collection.

NTU Staff are encouraged to submit their publications at our institutional repository. Some publishers like American Institute of Physics allow self archiving of publications in institutional repositories.

You can refer to the copyright policies and archiving guidelines from the publishers at Sherpa Romeo when submitting your publications to DR-NTU. Information on submission to DR-NTU is also available at the Submission Procedures page, please also see the FAQ page.

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