Posted by: libraryliza | December 14, 2009

LIS 205 – Exercise 4 – Part V

For the following, find and cite THREE sources that would be useful to the patron asking the question: one reference resource (print or online, but not Wikipedia), one book (circulating or reference), and one article from a periodical. Cite in APA style. For each of the 3 cited sources, state which database(s) or other resources you used to find them, and briefly explain to the patron why it appears to be a useful resource.

4) I have to write a short paper for my physics class about what causes rainbows.

Cowley, L. (2009). Rainbows. Retrieved from

i. This reference site is linked from St. John’s CampusGuide for “Physics – Scientific Inquiry” ( and from its homepage, users click “rainbow” to get to the dedicated section. Clearly trusted as a source by St. John’s Libraries, it breaks down the elements of a rainbow in layman language, has detailed photos, and also has a section linking to other resources. This is a great starter reference, as it is so easy to use and leads right into topics detailed in the following two resources.

Farndon, J. (2008). From Newton’s rainbow to frozen light : discovering light. New York: Paw Prints.

i. Nothing turned up relevant in St. John’s catalogue, so I turned to WorldCat. Using the advanced search options, I selected keyword “rainbow,” format “book,” language “English,” content “non-fiction,” subject “physical sciences” which still had 205 results. Disregarding the first page of results either as too young or not relevant, I selected this title. Because this is for a short paper, I selected a book that discusses the entire phenomenon of light, is by a trusted author of introductory science books, is easy-to-read, and is even available on Google books.

Adam, J. A. (2002). The mathematical physics of rainbows and glories. Physics Reports, 356(4-5), 229-365. doi: 10.1016/S0370-1573(01)00076-X

i. To find this article I connected to Science Direct from St John’s listing, and searched the keyword “rainbow” in the subject areas of both “Earth and Planetary Science” and “Physics and Astronomy.” The first result was this article, and after reading the abstract, the articles seems to offer a comprehensive summary of a mathematical perspective of rainbows and glories, and it also provides a more analytical compliment to the book title previously suggested with an extensive bibliography. However, because of the article’s length, I would suggest that the student focus on the sections dedicated to rainbows (sections 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, and 2.1) and the conclusion while writing his or her paper.


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