Links and Resources

Links and Resources

This section is being expanded slowly. The criteria for inclusion is that the material is not linked to any particular course but should interest a Physics student and may be useful for assignments.

Download useful mathematics guide

 Biography and History

  • portrait gallery of famous physicists, with emphasis on the 20th century. Both thumbnail pictures and larger pictures of general interest and potential relevance to anyone writing an essay.
  • An excellent history of Maths (and Physics) archive with biographies, pictures, birthplace maps and much more besides, including a virtual visit to James Clerk Maxwell's birthplace. Very well indexed. This site is improving all the time and is quite simply the best in the world in this area.
  • Biographical information on 4000 years of women in science, mainly pre 20th century, is indexed in this developing site. See also Women in Mathematics and the AdultLearn site about women in science.
  • have recently published a resource that includes interviews with five women data scientists about the current landscape of opportunities for women in big data. You can find the article here.
  • Don't miss out the Nobel Foundation website for a full list of all Nobel prize winners, with acceptance speeches, biographies, portraits, press releases and other useful background.
  • Classic papers in Chemistry contains on-line copies of much of relevance to basic physics too, and illustrated biographies of contributors.
  • Set your biography in the correct context by browsing the Internet History of Science Sourcebook. This is an excellent resource leading you to many original texts that have had an impact on the evolution of scientific ideas and practice.
  • Another good site for context is the American Physical Society's Century of Physics timeline that runs from 1896 - 1997. Another time line of discoveries in optics, electricity and magnetism runs from BC to about 1900, with hyperlinks to biographic information.
  • Slightly whacky but containing notable scientists among a very extensive database is find a grave.


  • A good starting place is PSIgate the physical sciences gateway of the resource discovery network that includes current news, subject searches over reviewed sites and browse facilities. You may well find here good sites missed by search engines.
  • I'm not sure if it counts as a 'body' but the online education database has links to open access courseware (like ours) in a wide variety of subjects. We have been ranked in the top 100 on the web.
  • Three maps of the UK showing Web sites in higher education institutions and research labs(including Government funded research centres such as the National Physical Laboratory). Notice that for the "Universities" map you can go directly to one of the functions of an institution selected from the list to the left of the map.
  • The Web site for the Institute of Physics, the physicists professional body in the UK. The IOP have a student section called Nexus, no relative of the eponymous dating agency, and a major publishing house for physics texts and journals.
  • The European Physical Society supported PhysNet gives quick access to Physics Department pages across the world and on-line journal resources. For a US perspective, try PhysLink.
  • The Web site for the American Institute of Physics contains details of their activities, publications and an extensive catalogue of physics related links, indexed by main subject.
  • The New Scientist's WWW pages. When you first enter you have to register yourself as a user (free). Extensive pages, with emphasis on the topical, and many pointers to information sites around the globe. Note also the website of the Scientific American .
  • Netskills is a site with an extensive range of net skills training material, set up especially for the Higher Education Community.


  • Useful for access to specially selected academic web material in Physics, Astronomy and other Physical Sciences is the Intute gateway.
  • Generally useful are the pages for physics and chemistry .
  • The Internet Pilot to Physics is an excellent starting point to surf for physics around the world, for a calendar of events, for simulation programs and for access to Physical Societies. A slightly eccentric but widely embracing metasite is the Higher Education Links List (HELL).
  • There is enough overlap between Physics and Engineering interests to make a visit to EEVL (Edinburgh Engineering Virtual Library) worthwhile on a number of occasions. This site now also includes maths and computing links.
  • For basic properties of the elements, see the on-line periodic table. Finally, the Elemental Data List of NIST concentrates on the physical properties of the elements. You want information on isotopes? The Isotopes Project home page has it.
  • For elementary particle properties, see the Property Data Group pages.
  • For access to a wide range of physical, chemical, mechanical, safety and other data see the University of Arizona's property data index.
  • If you're seriously interested in the identification of spectroscopic lines, you'll need the Atomic Line List site of the University of Kentucky that contains over 900,000 lines, with search facilities. The NIST Physical Reference Data includes spectroscopic data amongst a much wider range of data.
  • The Landolt-Bornstein Millennium Campaign is an offer of free on-line access from publisher to 129 volumes of the renowned comprehensive Landolt-Bornstein data tables. You have to register (free) for this service.
  • The strong overlap at times between chemistry and physics means we should not miss out the homepage of chemsoc which offers chemically oriented learning resources, information, including an on-line version of the chemists 'goldbook', web links and more.
  • For times of sunrise and sunset select "city, non-US country" and enter "Aberdeen, Scotland" or any other city with an airport.
  • A site giving useful background for essays on many engineering achievements of the 20th century has been put up by the National Academy of Engineering.
  • Many individuals keep pages of their own links or contributions to Physics and related subjects. For an overview of scientific software, see the scientific web, maintained by Stefan Steinhaus in Germany.

Useful Maths

  • A very good site that provides web-based maths information at its best that will help many students who care to explore here is Langara College Internet Resources for Maths students . You will find the site very useful for calculus and algebra. Also amongst its many offerings is a set of applets that you can download to calculate and draw a wide variety of special curves.
  • Great educational fun for those who like to visualise their maths is the growing site Manipula Math with more than 250 java applets illustrating maths concepts from simple ideas like slopes of curves and basic trig functions to Fourier sums and chaos theory. Good for illustrating ideas you have already met.
  • Calculus on the web COW is a series of interactive modules for learning and practising calculus. Also well worth looking at is the visual calculus site.
  • WebMath offers basic maths like fractions, trig, lines, polynomials, shapes, calculus all solved on-line, with explanations. Recommended for the maths shy, and there are interesting pages for the more experienced too.
  • A quick reference for tables, formulae, integrals, identities, constants, special numbers and more is SOS Mathematics.
  • For statistics see the treasure trove of web pages that perform statistical calculations. Another statistical site well worth a visit is second moment.
  • A very helpful site giving a practical guide to wavelet analysis is a good place to explore this modern technique for time series analysis. The site also offers free wavelet software.
  • A good site to start from if you have an interest in chaos (and who doesn't) is Chaos at Maryland. Also, don't miss Julien C. Sprott's gallery of images of fractals, chaos demonstrations, strange attractors, Julia sets and more from the University of Wisconsin.
  • Not the usual kind of reference site for physics but anyone using spheres and spherical geometry in their thinking will appreciate this site on the geometry of the sphere.
  • Stretching the meaning of the word 'useful', we couldn't resist including this site on prime numbers.
  • The EULER Project is a new resource aiming to be a one-stop search engine for mathematical resources on your chosen topic.


  • Science magazine's essays on science and society are well worth looking at.
  • Need to explain some science to schools and are wondering what different age groups might know? The American Association for the Advancement of Science has produced benchmarks for science literacy.
  • Alternatively, have a relaxed browse in the Online Literature Library. Stuck for a spelling, meaning or synonym? Use OED on line directly (Athens password needed for off-campus access).