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Physics--Core Reference Materials

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What exactly is a core reference item?

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CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics [Grinnell]
David R. Lide, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief
Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press
Published almost annually since 1918; subject and name index; bibliographies scattered throughout.
The one-volume source that provides "broad coverage of all types of data commonly encountered by physical scientists" (from the Preface to the 72nd Edition). Start by searching the index for the property, process, or general concept of interest.

Encyclopedia of Acoustics [Grinnell]
Malcolm J. Crocker, Editor-in-Chief
New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1997
4 volumes; detailed table of contents.
The Encyclopedia is arranged by broad topic instead of alphabetically. Most of the articles are approximately 10 pages long and all the articles have extensive bibliographies. The text assumes some prior knowledge of Acoustics and Physics in general.

Handbook of Physical Quantities [Grinnell]
Igor S. Grigoriev and Evgenii Z. Meilikhov, editors
Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1997
1,548 pages; detailed table of contents; subject index.
Many handy tables of data in 1 volume; each chapter contains an extensive bibliography.

Handbook of Physics [Grinnell]
E.U. Condon and Hugh Odishaw, editors
New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1967
2nd edition (the 1st edition was published in 1958); detailed table of contents; subject index (64 pages).
Certainly out-of date but still useful for basic introductions to many topics, the Handbook contains "what every physicist should know" (from the Preface to the First Edition). The level of explanation used in the articles assumes some prior knowledge of Physics and Mathematics.

Handbook of Physics [Grinnell]
Walter Benenson, John W. Harris, Horst Stocker, and Holger Lutz
New York: Springer, 2002
Based on the 3rd German edition of the Taschenbuch der Physik published by Harri Deutsch; detailed table of contents; 1180+ pages; 50+ page name and subject index.
Basic definitions and handy tables; compiled by professional scientists, engineers, and lecturers who are experts in the day-to-day use of physics, this Handbook covers topics from classical mechanics to elementary particles, electric circuits to error analysis (from the Preface).

Macmillan Encyclopedia of Physics [Grinnell]
John S. Rigden, Editor-in-Chief
New York: Simon & Schuster Macmillan, 1996
4 volumes; 1,881 pages; contains extensive introductory material (abbreviations and symbols, contributors, etc.); glossary; detailed subject and name index.
Arranged alphabetically, each article contains cross-references to other encyclopedia articles and short bibliographies. The text is readable and understandable; the layout is well done ... a quality resource.

How to find the above encyclopedias and other publications? See Step 3: Locate of the Information Strategy for details.

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Updated 6:00 p.m. CT December 13, 2004
Kevin Engel (kevin@strategian.com)
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