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Search the Online Catalog
You can search for both print and electronic books through the Library's online catalog. Type the keyword(s) in the search bar below and then hit 'Search'. Keywords can be any combination of words from the author, title, or subject fields. Examples are:
- treat* and cancer (will retrieve treat, treating, treatment, and so on COMBINED with cancer)
- Alexander Fleming (books by or about Alexander Fleming)
Tip: Keep in mind that you only need a few keywords for any search. The more words you enter the fewer results you will find. Try to limit your keywords to 3 or less.
Additionally, you don't not have to search by keyword. You can also search by Title, Author, Subject, Journal Title, or Call Number. Keyword searching is the best choice though when looking for a resources on a topic.
Browsing the Shelves
If you'd prefer to peruse our shelves rather than search our catalog, most physics books can be located under the following Library of Congress call numbers beginning with QC. Further specific subclass locations are:
- General: QC 1-75
- Weights & Measures: QC 81-114
- Descriptive & Experimental Mechanics: QC 120-168.85
- Atomic Physics/Constitution and Properties of Matter: QC 170-197
- Acoustics. Sound: QC 221-246
- Heat: QC 251-338.5
- Optics. Light: QC 350-467
- Electricity & Magnetism: QC 501-766
- Nuclear & Particle Physics. Atom Energy. Radioactivity: QC 770-798
- Geophysics. Cosmic Physics: QC 801-809
- Geomagnetism: QC 811-849
- Meteorology. Climatology: QC 851-999
You can also browse the catalog for books and DVDs using these subject keywords.
Physics Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
EBSCOhost eBook Databases
You no longer have to come to the Library to read books in our collection!
EBSCOhost eBook Collection eBook Community College Collection
- Available off-campus using your myPTC username and password
- Provides online access to full-text books coering a wide range of subjects
- Over 20,000 titles that were originally published on paper but are now available online
- Read directly from your computer screen
- Print up to 60 pages (Note: There is a 20 page print limit in the Library)
- Create PDFs of chapters or page ranges (up to 60 pages)
- Download eBooks to your computer, Apple or Android devices, and Kindle for up to 2 weeks!
Downloading eBooks requires signing up for a free MyEBSCOhost account as well as additional viewing requirements. The viewing requirements for different devices are:
- Computer: Adobe® Digital Editions 1.7.1 or higher is required for offline viewing (To sign up for and download this software is free.)
- Apple or Android devices: Bluefire Reader is recommended (This app can be downloaded from your respective App Store for free.)
- Kindle: PDFs can be created in the eBook Full Text view and transferred using Send To Kindle (Instructions on how to use the Send to Kindle feature can be found here)
Instructions for downloading eBooks to various devices:
Interesting Books and eBooks Related to Physics
Trespassing on Einstein's Lawn
Call Number: QC6 .G34 2014 (Main: 2nd Floor Circulation)
Trespassing on Einstein's Lawn, a memoir of the impassioned hunt that takes Amanda and her father from New York to London to Los Alamos. Along the way, they bump up against quirky science and even quirkier personalities, including Leonard Susskind, the former Bronx plumber who invented string theory; Ed Witten, the soft-spoken genius who coined the enigmatic M-theory; even Stephen Hawking. What they discover is extraordinary: the beginnings of a monumental paradigm shift in cosmology, from a single universe we all share to a splintered reality in which each observer has her own. Reality, the Gefters learn, is radically observer-dependent, far beyond anything of which Einstein or the founders of quantum mechanics ever dreamed--with shattering consequences for our understanding of the universe's origin. And somehow it all ties back to that conversation, to that Chinese restaurant, and to the true meaning of nothing. Throughout their journey, Amanda struggles to make sense of her own life--as her journalism career transforms from illusion to reality, as she searches for her voice as a writer, as she steps from a universe shared with her father to at last carve out one of her own. It's a paradigm shift you might call growing up. By turns hilarious, moving, irreverent, and profound, Trespassing on Einstein's Lawn weaves together story and science in remarkable ways. By the end, you will never look at the universe the same way again.
Below is a list of physics related books and ebooks the library has in the collection. In order to access ebooks off-campus you will need to use your student ID # and 8 digit birthday to log in. (Example: Log In: 123456789 / Password: 01011900)
The Physics Book
Call Number: QC7 .P49 2011 (Main: 2nd Floor Circulation)
Following the hugely successful The Science Book and The Math Book comes a richly illustrated chronology of physics, containing 250 short, entertaining, and thought-provoking entries. In addition to exploring such engaging topics as dark energy, parallel universes, the Doppler effect, the God particle, and Maxwell's demon, the book's timeline extends back billions of years to the hypothetical Big Bang and forward trillions of years to a time of quantum resurrection. Like the previous titles in this series, The Physics Book helps readers gain an understanding of major concepts without getting bogged down in complex details.
The Grand Design
Call Number: QC794.6.G7 H385 2010 (Main: 2nd Floor Circulation)
In their new book, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow present the most recent scientific thinking about the mysteries of the universe, in nontechnical language marked by both brilliance and simplicity. In The Grand Design they explain that according to quantum theory, the cosmos does not have just a single existence or history, but rather that every possible history of the universe exists simultaneously. When applied to the universe as a whole, this idea calls into question the very notion of cause and effect. But the "top-down" approach to cosmology that Hawking and Mlodinow describe would say that the fact that the past takes no definite form means that we create history by observing it, rather than that history creates us. The authors further explain that we ourselves are the product of quantum fluctuations in the very early universe, and show how quantum theory predicts the "multiverse"--the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature. Along the way Hawking and Mlodinow question the conventional concept of reality, posing a "model-dependent" theory of reality as the best we can hope to find. And they conclude with a riveting assessment of M-theory, an explanation of the laws governing us and our universe that is currently the only viable candidate for a complete "theory of everything." If confirmed, they write, it will be the unified theory that Einstein was looking for, and the ultimate triumph of human reason. A succinct, startling, and lavishly illustrated guide to discoveries that are altering our understanding and threatening some of our most cherished belief systems, The Grand Design is a book that will inform--and provoke--like no other.
The Great Beyond
Call Number: QC6 .H273 2004eb (ebook)
The concept of multiple unperceived dimensions in the universe is one of the hottest topics in contemporary physics. It is essential to current attempts to explain gravity and the underlying structure of the universe. The Great Beyond begins with Einstein's famous quarrel with Heisenberg and Bohr, whose theories of uncertainty threatened the order Einstein believed was essential to the universe, and it was his rejection of uncertainty that drove him to ponder the existence of a fifth dimension. Beginning with this famous disagreement and culminating with an explanation of the newest "brane" approach, author Paul Halpern shows how current debates about the nature of reality began as age-old controversies, and addresses how the possibility of higher dimensions has influenced culture over the past one hundred years.
Call Number: QC73.8.C6 B63 2000 (Main: 2nd Floor Circulation)
Generations have grown up knowing that the equation E=mc2 changed the shape of our world, but never understanding what it actually means, why it was so significant, and how it informs our daily lives today—governing, as it does, everything from the atomic bomb to a television's cathode ray tube to the carbon dating of prehistoric paintings. In this book, David Bodanis writes the & biography of one of the greatest scientific discoveries in history that the realms of energy and matter are inescapably linked and, through his skill as a writer and teacher, he turns a seemingly impenetrable theory into a dramatic human achievement and an uncommonly good story.
Electricity and Magnetism
Call Number: QC507 .B35 2007 (Main: 2nd Floor Circulation)
Brian Baigrie traces the central concepts of electricity and magnetism from the ancient past, enabling readers to develop a deeper understanding of how the science arose as it has.
J. Robert Oppenheimer, the Cold War, and the Atomic West
Call Number: QC16.O62 H86 2009 (Main: 2nd Floor Circulation)
In 1922, the teenage son of a Jewish immigrant ventured from Manhattan to New Mexico for his health. It was the first of many trips to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, a western retreat where J. Robert Oppenheimer would eventually hold pathbreaking discussions with world-renowned scientists about atomic physics. Oppenheimer came to feel at home in the American West, and while extensive studies have been made of the man, this is the first book to explicitly link him with the region. J. Robert Oppenheimer, the Cold War, and the Atomic West explores how the West influenced Oppenheimer as a scientist and as a person and the role he played in influencing it. Jon Hunner's concise account of Oppenheimer's life and the emergence of an Atomic West distills a vast literature for students and general readers. In this brisk, engaging biography, the author recounts how Oppenheimer helped locate the atomic weapons research lab at Los Alamos, New Mexico, and helped establish leading physics departments at the University of California#150;Berkeley and Caltech. By taking part in moving atomic physics west of the Mississippi, Oppenheimer bolstered the establishment of research labs, uranium mines, nuclear reactors, and more, bringing talented people and billions of dollars in federal contracts to the region. Interwoven into this atomic tale are insights into the physicists troubled growing-up years, his marriage and family life, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Oppenheimer's eventual downfall. After the first atomic bomb burst over the New Mexican desert in 1945 and as the Cold War developed, the American myth of the Wild West expanded to encompass atomic sheriffs saving the world for democracy even as powerful opponents began questioning Oppenheimer's place in that story. Against the backdrop of the physicists life twining with the region's history, Hunner explores the promise and peril of the Atomic Age.
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