The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri

Research Guide for the Physical Sciences

The physical sciences cover such broad topics as chemistry, earth science, physics and the weather. There are general science reference books such as McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology and Gale Encyclopedia of Science. There are also reference works in the different areas of the physical sciences, such as those listed below.

Chemistry and Physics

CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics

Principles of Chemistry

The New York Times Book of Physics and Astronomy

Chemistry and Physics Websites

Dynamic Periodic Table
This version of the Periodic Table is truly interactive and includes a time function which tells you which elements were discovered in certain years.

Explore key elements about the chemical elements through this periodical table. It also features articles about new elements such as livermorium, found at the Lawrence Livermore laboratories, and the possible discovery of an element 117 on the Periodic Table.

Material Safety Datasheets
Here you can find safety and handling information for specific chemical substances.

Molecule of the Month
Each month a different molecule is featured with interesting and often entertaining information.

Physics Central
While providing news about physics, this site also has popular topics and experiments for the public.

Read the latest news from the world of physics.
This website promotes science through video lectures which are free to the scientific community and general public.

Earth Sciences

Encyclopedia of Rocks, Minerals, and Gemstones

Encyclopedia of Weather and Climate

Encyclopedia of Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Cyclones

Encyclopedia of Space and Astronomy

Earth Sciences Websites

Mineral Gallery
The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has online galleries for minerals, gems and even meteorites.

National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program
Run by the U.S. Geological Survey, this vital website rapidly determines the location and size of all destructive earthquakes worldwide. Their daily list of earthquakes of a magnitude of 2.5 or greater plots them on a map of the continents. It also features a map of U.S. seismicity among many other resources.

Paleontology Museum
The University of California has an extensive website about fossils and paleontological research. It has online exhibits as well as links sites like the Paleontology Portal.

Volcano World
This website covers volcanic eruptions with images, articles and maps of recent hot spot activity. It also lists volcanoes by country and virtual volcano fieldtrips.

For more in depth research, you can find articles in many of the Library's databases such as Academic Search Elite*, Research in Context* (formerly Discovering Collection), Gale Virtual Reference Library* and the Science Reference Center*.

The Library has an extensive collection of scientific books in the system, and librarians will be happy to assist you in your information search. You can also use the online Library catalog,, to find books about the physical sciences.

* Library card required for use outside the Library

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