Physics and Astronomy

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

Research Help

Physics Research and the Marriott Library

Where to start?

Marriott Library Home Page

            Library Catalog


The ARC Automated Retrieval System

The Automated Retrieval Center or "ARC" is a large storage facility where older and less used materials, such as bound journals, are stored in order to make room for newer materials and expanding services.  Robots are used to retrieve and reshelve materials stored in the ARC.


Science & Engineering Division Page


Physics Research Guide


Database of Databases

            Select Database by Subject – drop down menu with suggested databases


Off Campus Access

Link from the Marriott Library’s webpage --


VPN: Virtual Private Network Software: The best way to access Marriott Library resources from off campus --

WebVPN : Use your own Internet Service Provider, login with your uNID and you can go to any campus pages, including pages at the libraries and get easy access to library resources. Works only for web pages.  FAQs: VPN -- Virtual Private Network.  Download and install software on your computer


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Useful databases of specific importance to Physics:


Major Database

EiVillage/Engineering Village2  --  INSPEC   -- Purchased by the Marriott Library

Coverage: 1969-current    
Scientific and technical journals and conference proceedings in physics, electrical engineering and electronics, computing and control, and information science. Updated weekly.


Specialized Databases


AGU American Geophysical Union – Purchased by the Marriott Library

Maximum users: site license, 2 users for each subscribed journal

Access to the following journal titles: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (G-Cubed or G3), Geophysical Research Letters, Global Biochemical Cycles, JGR (Journal of Geophysical Research) – Atmospheres, JGR - Earth Surface, JGR – Oceans, JGR – Planets, JGR - Solid Earth, JGR - Space Physics, Paleoceanography, Radio Science, Reviews of Geophysics, Tectonics, Water Resources Research.


AIP (American Institute of Physics) Online Publications/SPIN – Purchased by UALC
Approximately 25 full-text online journals from the American Institute of Physics.


APS Online Journals – Purchased by Marriott Library

Journals published by the American Physical Society


arXiv  Free

Open access to 492,464 e-prints in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science Quantitative Biology and Statistics


IOP Institute of Physics Journals -- Purchased by the Marriott Library

All the electronic journals from the Institute of Physics


Knovel Online Interactive Books and Databases – Purchased by the Marriott Library

Provides access to over a thousand full text titles in science and engineering areas ranging from adhesives to semiconductors, corrosion to tokamaks selected from several dozen publishers.


Los AlamosNational Laboratory E-print Archives – Purchased by--Free

E-prints in physics, mathematics, non-linear sciences, and computational linguistics. Searchable

SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)
"The SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) is a Digital Library portal for researchers in Astronomy and Physics, operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) under a NASA grant. The ADS maintains three bibliographic databases containing more than 8.0 million records: Astronomy and Astrophysics, Physics, and arXiv e-prints."  THE major resource for information in the Astrophysics field.


SciFinder Scholar – Purchased by the Marriott Library

SciFinder is your link to the wealth of substance and materials information and chemical literature in CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service) databases. That includes over 16 million journal articles, patents and other documents and more than 24 million substance records in the CAS Chemical Registry database.  “If it has anything to do with the behavior of matter, it will be indexed by SciFinder Scholar.”

Note: This database is licensed for use only by UU faculty, students, and staff; for academic use only. All other uses will jeopardize our licensing agreement with the Chemical Abstracts Serivce.


The nature of this database requires that the client software be loaded on your individual computer hard drive to access the database and to authenticate you as a legitimate user at the University of Utah. Download PC Client


Web of Knowledge/Web of Science/Science Citation Index – Purchased by the Marriott Library

Useful for finding articles which have cited a known article or given author in their bibliography. Search by topic, author, journal title, author's institution, cited author, cited work, cited year. 1997 - present (articles may be earlier if they were CITED from 1997 on).



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How to Evaluate the Information Resources You Find? Use the criteria below to evaluate both print and web-based resources.


Initial Appraisal:

1.       Authorare there credentials readily available? Institutional affiliation (where he or she works), educational background, past writings, or experience?

2.       Date of publicationWhen was the source published? Find the date of the journal article, or book.  On Web pages, the date of the last revision is usually at the bottom of the home page, sometimes every page.  Is the information current or out-of-date?

3.       Title of journal Is it scholarly or popular? This distinction is important because it indicates different levels of complexity in conveying ideas.  Scholarly journal articles often have an abstract, a descriptive summary of the article contents, before the main text of the article.  Scholarly articles always cite their sources in the form of footnotes or bibliographies. These bibliographies are generally lengthy and cite other scholarly writings.  Popular publications or magazines rarely, if ever, cite sources. Information published in such journals is often second or third hand and the original source is sometimes obscure or not even mentioned.


Content Analysis

1.       Intended audience What type of audience is the author addressing?  Is the publication aimed at a specialized or a general audience? Is this source too elementary, too technical, too advanced, or just right for your needs?

2.       Objective reasoningIs the information covered fact, opinion, or propaganda?  Does the author use the scientific method and does she/he discuss the methodology used in their research? Are the conclusions supported by the evidence and observations?

3.       Coverage Is the information primary or secondary in nature?  Primary sources are based on the raw data and observations that report the results of their research?  Secondary sources are based on an analysis and compilation of primary sources.

4.       Writing style  Is the publication organized logically? Are the main points clearly presented? Do you find the text easy to read, or is it stilted or choppy? Is the author's argument repetitive?

5.       URL domainPreferred domains include .edu, .gov, .org, or .net   Is the domain appropriate for the content? 

a.       Government sites: look for .gov, .mil, .us, or other country code

b.       Educational sites: look for .edu

c.       Nonprofit organizations: look for .org

d.       If from a foreign country, look at the country code and read the page to be sure who published it.

e.       For more information on how to evaluate web pages, go to this link: 

Subject Guide

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Alfred Mowdood
The University of Utah
J. Willard Marriott Library
Head of Faculty Services,
Representative, Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC), and
Adjunct Assistant Professor in Kinesiology
295 South 1500 East #2110 R
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0860
(801) 585-7125

Pronouns: he/him/his
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