Where can I find information about physics?
Entry last updated: 10/06/20
Everything on earth and everything in the universe moves and interacts, and forces play a big part in that. Physics studies those forces and interactions. Physics includes motion, heat, light and other radiation, electricity, magnetism, and the structure of atoms. There are many reliable websites that have useful facts, images, and other information about physics. All of the websites mentioned below can be used to find information on a variety of physics topics.
Mechanics deals with motion, forces, momentum and energy and includes Newton's Laws of Motion.
HowStuffWorks is a really good website for finding out how all sorts of things work. Often the articles we find will go over multiple pages, so we need to click through them to find more info. We like HowStuffWorks because all the information is written by experts. You can find out more about the writers of each article by clicking on the author's name under the article's title.
- Search using keywords like 'motion'.
- Select an article such as How Newton's Laws of Motion work.
- Choose next to get more information.
Tips: Some websites have advertisements (or ads) which ask us to buy something or tell us to ‘click here’. It’s best to ignore these ads and focus on the information we’re looking for.
This New Zealand website has plenty of information on science collected by topic and concept.
- Try selecting Concepts.
- Then Force and Movement.
Waves and light
The electromagnetic spectrum is the entire range of wavelengths or frequencies of electromagnetic radiation extending from gamma rays to the longest radio waves. Light is electromagnetic radiation that stimulates our sight and makes things visible.
BBC Bitesize is a website set up to help British students with school work and exam revision. This is a very useful website to explore if you want to know more about physics as many of the same topics are studied.
- Search using some keywords like 'waves'.
- Choose an article that is relevant, like GCSE Physics Waves.
- Or you can select by level. Try selecting England GCSE (the equivalent of NCEA)
- Then Physics
- Then Waves.
If you like to learn by watching and listening, the Khan Academy is an educational website with lots of videos and articles.
- Try selecting Science & engineering.
- Then Physics.
- Then Electromagnetic waves and interference.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.
Heat is a form of energy that can be transferred from one object to another or even created at the expense of the loss of other forms of energy.
If you are doing NCEA and want to brush up on or revise your physics skills, this is a great place to go. This site is run by New Zealand science teachers, and the content is aligned to NCEA.
- Try Physics Level 1 .
- Select 90939 Heat.
Explore the site to find more information.
Electricity and Magnetism
Magnetism is the physical force that makes two metal objects pull towards each other or push each other apart.
A great place to look for scientific information is EPIC. EPIC is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics, and it's put together especially for New Zealand school students. You may need a password from your school or local library to access it.
This particular resource has lots of articles from encyclopedias, magazines and journals.
- Login using your school password (or ask a librarian on AnyQuestions).
- Click on view all on the Physics and Astronomy topic.
- Select Magnets and Magnetism from the list.
- Alternatively, search using keywords such as 'electricity'.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.
This is an excellent educational website which has many easy-to-understand science articles.
- Search using keywords like 'magnetism'.
- Select an article such as Magnetism for kids - A simple introduction.
Atomic and Nuclear
Atomic and nuclear physics deal with the structure of the atom. This topic starts where traditional physics stops and is also called modern physics.
Physics4Kids is a reliable website with information on many physics topics.
- Select the Modern Physics topic.
- Choose next page to get more information.
- Alternatively, search using keywords such as 'nuclear'.
Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, e.g. ''physics' We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.
The website Studyit provides information for all levels of NCEA. Under the heading 'Find what you need to know' you can choose your subject, level and assessment standard.
- Try Physics, Level 1, 1.3 Electricity and magnetism.
- Select Subject content to view the topic.
- Choose Practice to find example answers on the NZQA website.
- Or select Links to explore links to websites that can explain the topic.
The NZQA website has past examination papers and exemplars to check out. Example answers for NCEA papers have answers marked from 'not achieved' up to a 'low excellence'.
- Search on the relevant achievement standard number, for example 90938 (Demonstrate understanding of aspects of wave behaviour, Level 1).
- Alternatively, go to the NCEA subject resources page.
- Select Physics.
- Choose the Examination papers and exemplars for the level you are studying.
- Find the correct achievement standard number and open exam papers and exemplars for that standard.
There are many books available on Physics. Some recommended titles are:
- 30-second physics by Brian Clegg.
- The handy physics answer book by Paul W. Zitzewitz.
- Light : the visible spectrum and beyond by Megan K. Watzke and Kimberly K. Arcand.
SCIS no: 1875437