Article Index


Physics is a fundamental science that endeavours to explain all the natural phenomena that occur in the universe using the method of experiment and observation and the method of mathematical reasoning. Its power lies in the use of a comparatively small number of assumptions, models, laws and theories to explain a wide range of phenomena, from the incredibly small to the incredibly large. Physics has helped to unlock the mysteries of the universe and provides the foundation of understanding upon which modern technologies and all other sciences are based.

Students learn how an understanding of physics is central to the identification of, and solutions to, some of the key issues facing an increasingly globalised society. They consider how physics contributes to diverse areas in contemporary life, such as engineering, renewable energy generation, communication, development of new materials, transport and vehicle safety, medical science, an understanding of climate change, and the exploration of the universe. Studying physics will enable learners to become citizens who are better informed about the world around them and who have the critical skills to evaluate and make evidence-based decisions about current scientific issues.

This subject guide will help you to locate the resources you will find particularly useful when commencing your studies in this area. Here is the best place to find books, information about databases and a guide to appropriate websites.

Intenal assessment tasks in Physics may include: written reports, essays, case studies, portfolios, scientific poster presentations, oral presentations and debates, which will require you to reference where you have obtained your information.

Referencing advice: For further information go to the Library's Referencing Guidelines for extended help in this area. The Library staff are always happy to help you with any queries you may have in regard to referencing requirements for any research you are undertaking.

Faculty resources: All material purchased for the teachers in the Science Faculty is also available for student use if it is not required by the teachers. The resources are kept in the Library and can be found by using the Library catalogue.

Library resources

The Library catalogue is a powerful searching tool that allows you to quickly locate material in our collections.

Dewey numbers

  • 530 - Physics

Keyword searching

All the chapters and summaries of the physics books on our shelves are entered into our catalogue. A simple keyword search is the quickest way to locate these resources, e.g.

Collection highlights

Parsons, P. 2012, 3-minute Einstein: digesting his life, theories and influence in 3-minute morsels, Pier 9, Milsons Point, NSW.

Smil, V. 2006, Energy: a beginner's guide, Oneworld, Oxford.

Speyer, E. 1994, Six roads from Newton: great discoveries in physics, Wiley Popular Science, New York.

Tipler, A, Llewellyn, R.A., (2012), Modern physics, 6th edn. W.H. Freeman and Company, New York.

Walding, R, Rapkins, G, Rossiter G, (2004), New century senior physics: knowledge, processes and reasoning, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic. [Multiple copies of this text are held in the Science Faculty resources]



Issues in society


Folger, T (2017), Mass Hysteria in Scientific American, vol. 316 no. 2.


 To be updated


Reference resources

General encyclopedia

  • Encyclopaedia Britannica
  • World Book

Single-volume reference



Image library

The CSIRO Science Image Library has an extensive selection of images you can use in your assignments. They are available to download and copy under a Creative Commons licence. You must acknowledge and provide a citation to the CSIRO when you use any of these images.



The following databases will help you in your research, particularly with up-to-date material. You will need your User Name & Password to log on.


This database contain magazine and journal articles on the latest developments in many areas associated with biology. eLibrary also has an extensive section dedicated to "Physics".

Science Online

This database presents a broad range of scientific disciplines through extensive essays, videos, diagrams, definitions, biographies, and experiments.


Web resources

General resources

Additional resources:

Unit 1: Ionising radiation and nuclear reactions

Unit 2: Waves

  • BBC Higher Bitesize: Physics - Waves

Unit 3: Gravity and motion

Unit 3: Electromagnetism

Unit 4: Special Relativity

Unit 4: Quantum theory

Unit 4: Standard model


Science Understanding

The following tasks are only possible suggestions from TASC in regard to internal assessment tasks in TASC Physics, Level 4.

Artificial satellites

Big Bang theory

Black body radiation and the greenhouse effect

Forensic science - Projectiles

Harnessing nuclear power

Medical imaging

Monitoring earthquakes and tsunamis