BIC Subject Categories and Qualifiers

This is BIC’s Subject Categories and Qualifiers Scheme, version 2.1 released November 2010, the standard classification scheme for the UK book trade and some other English language markets, available from

Note that BIC has announced that there will be no further development of the BIC scheme, and that Thema is its preferred subject scheme for current and future use. Browse the latest version of the Thema international, multilingual subject category scheme here.

See the Search hints below

Code Description
P Mathematics and science
Do not use “P” on individual books; select appropriate code(s) from Section P below
PH Physics
For experimental techniques, use PDN “Scientific equipment, experiments and techniques” plus appropriate PH* code
PHD Classical mechanics
PHF Materials / States of matter
PHH Thermodynamics and heat
PHJ Optical physics
PHK Electricity, electromagnetism and magnetism
PHM Atomic and molecular physics
PHN Nuclear physics
PHP Particle and high-energy physics
PHQ Quantum physics (quantum mechanics and quantum field theory)
PHR Relativity physics
PHS Statistical physics
PHU Mathematical physics
PHV Applied physics

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