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Natural and Physical Sciences: Home


Welcome to the PTC Libraries' guide for the Natural and Physical Sciences.  Here you will find tools to assist you in researching for courses in one of these areas. 

You may ask for help by using our Ask a Librarian service or contact me by using the information listed under my profile.

Good luck with your research!

Featured Book

Natural and Physical Science Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Search the Online Catalog

You can search for both print and electronic books through the Library's online catalog. Type the keyword(s) in the search bar below and then hit 'Search'. Keywords can be any combination of words from the author, title, or subject fields. Examples are:

  • biology
  • treat* and cancer (will retrieve treat, treating, treatment, and so on COMBINED with cancer)
  • Alexander Fleming (books by or about Alexander Fleming)

Tip: Keep in mind that you only need a few keywords for any search.  The more words you enter the fewer results you will find.  Try to limit your keywords to 3 or less. 

Additionally, you don't not have to search by keyword. You can also search by Title, Author, Subject, Journal Title, or Call Number. Keyword searching is the best choice though when looking for a resources on a topic.

Featured Video

EBSCOhost eBook Databases

You no longer have to come to the Library to read books in our collection! 

  EBSCOhost eBook Collection     eBook Community College Collection

  • Available off-campus using your myPTC username and password 
  • Provides online access to full-text books coering a wide range of subjects
  • Over 20,000 titles that were originally published on paper but are now available online
  • Read directly from your computer screen
  • Print up to 60 pages (Note: There is a 20 page print limit in the Library)
  • Create PDFs of chapters or page ranges (up to 60 pages)
  • Download eBooks to your computer, Apple or Android devices, and Kindle for up to 2 weeks!

Downloading eBooks requires signing up for a free MyEBSCOhost account as well as additional viewing requirements. The viewing requirements for different devices are:

  • Computer: Adobe® Digital Editions 1.7.1 or higher is required for offline viewing (To sign up for and download this software is free.)
  • Apple or Android devices: Bluefire Reader is recommended (This app can be downloaded from your respective App Store for free.)
  • Kindle: PDFs can be created in the eBook Full Text view and transferred using Send To Kindle (Instructions on how to use the Send to Kindle feature can be found here)

Instructions for downloading eBooks to various devices:

Search Troubleshooting

So you are having trouble finding the information you are looking for.  Don't worry this happens a lot.  There are three different instances that may occur when searching:

  1. You found zero results
  2. You found some but not enough
  3. You found too much and a lot is not what you want

The causes of these situations are different. What are the common causes for each:

Zero Results

  • Check your spelling
    • A misspelled word is almost always the reason for finding zero results.  Spelling is very important.

Too Few Results

  • Too many words
    • When searching it is important to select only a few keywords.  If you put in an entire sentence you will limit your search down so far you will not find many results, and sometimes no results at all.  Also, the more words you type the more likely you are to misspell a word and one misspelled word can ruin any search.
  • Too specific
    • Maybe you are looking for a book on a specific physicist, like Max Planck and you keep finding nothing.  Many times what you are looking for is a part of a book but not the only subject for that book.  Think of the larger subject area, like physicist and use that as a search and you might find a book on physicists that has Max Planck in the book.

Too Many Results

  • Too broad of a topic
    • If your search finds too many results you may be searching for a large topic.  Narrow your search down.  Find a smaller aspect of that topic and research it.  Instead of researching physics, research quantum mechanics.
  • Not enough keywords
    • If you are finding too many results try adding another keyword that will narrow the search down to a smaller set of results.

Subject Guide

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Carita Alexander

Reference Databases

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