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Addlestone Library is open to the College of Charleston community and affiliates via card access. Visitors may access Addlestone Library Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, and must present a government issued ID and sign in upon entry.
Why background research helps
Getting background information and general facts about your topic is a good way to start your research. This not only helps you better understand your topic, but it also helps you formulate the boundaries of your research and key terms for your thesis statement. It can be a helpful guide to begin to narrow down your topic into a coherent and specific area.
Credo is a library database containing digital versions of encyclopedias and other reference works. Think of it as an academic Wikipedia, only curated by librarians instead of the general public.
Finding Background Info in Books
College of Charleston libraries use the Library of Congress classification system to organize print materials, which means books on the same subject should be next to or near each other on the shelf. This information can be used to find books in person or via the Library Catalog.
Library of Congress call number ranges:
- QB1-991 Astronomy
- QB1-139 General
- QB140-237 Practical and spherical astronomy
- QB275-343 Geodesy
- QB349-421 Theoretical astronomy and celestial mechanics
- QB455-456 Astrogeology
- QB460-466 Astrophysics
- QB468-480 Non-optical methods of astronomy
- QB495-903 Descriptive astronomy
- QB500.5-785 Solar system
- QB799-903 Stars
- QB980-991 Cosmogony. Cosmology
- QC1-999 Physics
- QC1-75 Physics - general
- QC81-114 Weights and measures
- QC120-168.85 Descriptive and experimental mechanics
- QC170-197 Atomic physics. Constitution and properties of matter. Including molecular physics, relativity, quantum theory, and solid state physics
- QC221-246 Acoustics. Sound
- QC251-338.5 Heat
- QC310.15-319 Thermodynamics
- QC350-467 Optics. Light
- QC474-496.9 Radiation physics (General)
- QC501-766 Electricity and magnetism
- QC501-(721) Electricity
- QC669-675.8 Electromagnetic theory
- QC676-678.6 Radio waves (Theory)
- QC701-715.4 Electric discharge
- QC717.6-718.8 Plasma physics. Ionized gases
- QC750-766 Magnetism
- QC770-798 Nuclear and particle physics. Atomic energy. Radioactivity
- QC793-793.5 Elementary particle physics
- QC794.95-798 Radioactivity and radioactive substances
- QC801-809 Geophysics. Cosmic physics
- QC811-849 Geomagnetism
- QC851-999 Meteorology. Climatology Including the earth's atmosphere
- QC974.5-976 Meteorological optics
- QC980-999 Climatology and weather
- QC994.95-999 Weather forecasting
Explore for yourself at Library of Congress classification system
Other Resources for Background Info
Oxford Reference Online This link opens in a new window
Includes digitized, continuously updated entries from Oxfords dictionaries, companions, and encyclopedias, spanning 25 different subject areas including archaeology, classical studies, linguistics, philosophy, and more.
ScienceDaily features news about the latest discoveries in science, health, the environment, technology, and more -- from leading universities, scientific journals, and research organizations.
Wikipedia is useful for getting background information on your topic. But remember that anybody can edit Wikipedia articles, so their provenance or authority is hard to evaluate. A strong article includes references to scholarly material, so pay attention to the citations used within the Wikipedia article.
A Dictionary of Astronomy by The second edition of this established dictionary contains over 4,200 up-to-date entries on all aspects of astronomy. Edited by renowned author and broadcaster Ian Ridpath, with the help of over 20 expert contributors, it covers everything from space exploration and the equipment involved, toastrophysics, cosmology, and the concept of time. The dictionary also features biographical entries on eminent astronomers, as well as worldwide coverage of observatories and telescopes. Appendices include tables of Apollo lunar landing missions and the constellations. Entries are supported bynumerous tables and diagrams.The text has been fully revised and updated for the second edition, and includes information on new space missions, and ones that have come to fruition (such as the Huygens Probe). It also boasts entry-level web links and highlighted entries on topics sich as the Big Bang theory, black holes, galaxyevolution, and SETI.An invaluable reference source for students, professionals, amateur astronomers, and for space enthusiasts.
Publication Date: 2007-10-08
A Dictionary of Physics by This is the most popular dictionary of physics available. It contains over 3,800 entries covering all commonly encountered physics terms and concepts, as well as terms from the related fields of astronomy, astrophysics, and physical chemistry. With 200 new entries and expanded coverage inareas including applied physics, statistical distributions, polymers, and nanoscience, A Dictionary of Physics is more comprehensive than ever before.The dictionary is generously illustrated with over 120 diagrams, graphs, and tables and it also contains biographies of important scientists. Feature entries provide in-depth analysis of key topics such as crystal defects, magnetic resonance imaging, and the solar system. Three feature entries onlow-temperature physics, nanophysics, and quantum entanglement are brand new to this edition. Also new to this edition are entry-level web links and a web linked appendix. These recommended web links are accessible and kept up to date via the Dictionary of Physics companion web page and provideuseful and relevant extra information. Appendices include SI units, the solar system, and the electromagnetic spectrum, plus a list of Nobel Prize winners and a chronology of key dates in physics.This fully revised and updated A-Z is an ideal introduction to the subject for anyone with an interest in physics, and it remains an indispensable reference work for students of physics and physics-related subjects (either at school or at university), and professionals.
Publication Date: 2010-04-01
The Handbook of Meteorology by The Handbook of Meteorology gives specialists and non-specialists alike a clear understanding of the way our weather functions. It provides scientific answers to questions that arise when looking at the world around us. It starts with the basics of weather-temperature, pressure, humidity, and wind-before moving on to cover highs, lows, fronts, and storms, and finally ending with a look at weather forecasts, cloud watching, weather tools, and much more. The Handbook of Meteorology provides a condensed but all-inclusive broad sweep of meteorology, employing several illustrations to translate detailed technical information into terms that everyone can follow and readily refer to. It is a comprehensive reference for any budding meteorologist or environmental professional in the field, laboratory, or classroom.
Publication Date: 2012-08-16
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