Physics and Astronomy

This website features library resources and services for Physics and Astronomy.

Welcome to the Marriott Library!

outside view of the marriott library building and people are walking around outside with backpacks on.  Additionally, the library's logo and "50 years, all you need" slogan is overlaid on the photo.

The librarians at Marriott Library are here to help with all of your research needs.
Stop by the Knowledge Commons desk, make an appointment with a librarian,
or ask us a question via our e-mail reference service - we'll be happy to help!

Useful Links

Service Desks

Welcome to the Marriott Library. We are here to helpService Desks are located on all five levels of the Marriott Library.  The best place to get both research and technology assistance is the Knowledge Commons on Level 2.

A patron is receiving tech help at the Knowledge Commons desk in the Marriott Library, another patron is checking out a phone charging cable from the Knowledge Commons desk.

Level 1 includes:
The Information and Security desk just inside the West entrance and to the left.

  • Library Store
  • Library Lost & Found
  • Book check-out and return
  • Interlibrary Loan and book hold pick ups
  • Guest passes
  • Phone charger, Macbook charger, & calculator checkout

Level 2 includes
The Knowledge Commons desk in the Knowledge Commons

  • Reference and research help
  • Equipment and technology check out
  • Computer support
  • Classroom support
  • 3D printing services
  • Poster printing
  • Print release

Level 3

The Information and Security desk inside the East Entrance

  • Book check-out and return
  • Phone charger and Macbook charger checkout

Level 4

The Special Collections desk across the atrium on the west side of the building

  • Special Collections reference service
  • Special Collections holds and requests

Level 5

The Administration desk inside the glass doors next to the elevators

College of Science Research Guides

Search Strategies

Boolean Operators are used to connect and define the relationship between your search terms.  When searching electronic databases, you can use Boolean Operators to either broaden or narrow your search results.  The three Boolean Operators are AND, OR and NOT.


Boolean Operators

Boolean operators are simple words (AND, OR and NOT) used as conjunctions to combine or exclude keywords in a search, resulting in more focused search results.

venn diagram with "teenagers" in the left circle, "adolescents" in the right circle, and "OR" in their overlap.  All circles and overlap are colored purple.

OR

  • Broadens or expands your search
  • Is used to retrieve like terms or synonyms
  • Finds all items with either teenager OR adolescent
  • In set theory and math, "union" is inclusive "OR".
    "OR" = teenager U adolescent

Venn diagram with the left circle "diet" overlapping with the right circle "children".  The overlap says "and".  The venn diagram is white except for it's overlap "and" which is purple.

AND

  • Narrows or limits your search
  • Used to retrieve unrelated terms
  • Finds items with both diet and children
  • In set theory and math, "intersection" is "AND".
    "AND" = diet children

Venn diagram with the left circle saying "spider", the right circle saying "monkey", their overlap says "not".  The left circle that says "spider" is purple, but the right circle and overlap are white.

NOT

  • Narrows or limits your search
  • Finds the term "spider" not "monkey"
  • Use the NOT operator with caution
  • May eliminate relevant records

Note:
AND is the default or implied operator in Usearch, Google, Scopus, PubMed, EBSCOhost, and most search interfaces. 
"ecotourism sustainable" is the same as "ecotourism AND sustainable"

In Usearch, EBSCOhost, SCOPUS, and PubMed, Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) must be entered in upper case.


Phrase Searching

Phrase searching is using quotations.

For instance:

"international olympic committee"
"Utah tennis"

It finds the exact phrase, and items with words in the order typed.  One exception is Scopus.  Scopus uses curly brackets or braces for {exact phrase} searching.  In Scopus, quotes are used for "loose/approximate phrase" searching.


Truncation Stemming

Truncation or stemming is using an asterisk *.  It is also known as a wildcard.  Truncation is a symbol that retrieves all the suffixes or endings of a word.

For instance:

school*             retrieves school, schools, schooling, schooled, etc.
latin*                 retrieves latina, latino, latinx, latinos, latinas, latin, latinization, etc.

Note:
In the Library of Congress, % (percent sign) is a single character wildcard and ? (question mark) is truncation for multiple characters.


Nesting

Nesting is commonly used when combining more than one Boolean operator (OR, AND).  Most search interfaces search left to right.  Using parentheses in a search changes the order of operation.

For instance:

(moral* OR ethic*) AND (assisted suicide OR euthanasia)
(ski OR skis OR skiing OR snowboard*) AND video*

Proximity or Adjacency Operators

Proximity operators allow you to find one word within a certain distance of another.

With (w), Near (n), Next (n), or Pre (p) are common proximity operators.

Note:
Read the database help to see if proximity operators can be used in your searches.


Thanks to Alfred Mowdood for authoring these instructions.

Subject Specialist

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