Library Services


Physics & Astronomy


The Physics and Astronomy collection is on the 3rd floor of the Science Library and divided into the following sections:

  • A - General physics and astronomy;
  • C - Mathematics in relation to physics;
  • D - Geophysics;
  • E - Astronomy;
  • F - Space research and astrodynamics;
  • G - Cosmology, relativity and gravity;
  • J - Properties of matter;
  • K - Acoustics;
  • L - Optics;
  • M - Heat;
  • N - Electricity and magnetism;
  • P - Atomic and molecular structure;
  • Q - Nuclear and high energy physics;
  • R - Quantum mechanics;
  • S - Medical physics.

Search Explore (the Library catalogue) to find the exact class mark (shelf location) of a book. A large number of electronic books are also available through Explore. Any essential course readings can be found on each module's Online Reading List.

Some of the other sections of the Library you might find useful:


The Science Library holds both print and electronic journals (periodicals). The past five years' of print journals are kept on the shelves in the Science Library. These cannot be borrowed but may be photocopied, subject to copyright. Physics and Astronomy journals that we keep on site are in the Physical Sciences Pers section on the third floor of the Science Library, in the Physics and Chemistry reading room. Older issues of print journals are held in the library store and can be requested via the Store Request Form and will be available the next day.


Explore allows you to search for material within a single resource or across a range of resources simultaneously and get instant access to the online full-text material we subscribe to. However, databases should be used for conducting comprehensive research.

The following databases are relevant to Physics and Atsronomy, and can be accessed via our complete A-Z list of databases which are available at UCL.

Free resources

General resources

  • ADS Digital Library - the Astrophysics Data System from NASA links to online astronomy and astrophysics books;
  • The laws list - laws, rules, principles, effects, paradoxes, limits, constants and other related topics in physics and astronomy;
  • Physical Reference Data - from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST);
  • Physicsworld resources - contains links to reference sources from the Institute of Physics (IOP).

Preprint collections

Databases and catalogues of astronomical objects

Other resources

Find out more about using other libraries. For further information please send an email to adam.miller@ucl.ac.uk.

A wide range of training and support is available for members of staff and students. Please feel free to contact me for assistance or to make an appointment. Other services and materials which may be of use include:

The ISD Service Desk is located on the ground floor of the Science Library and can be contacted for enquiries regarding your computer accounts, email, etc. ISD also provide IT training and resources.

Training is available for research students via the UCL Doctoral School, including information skills sessions run by library staff.