Did you know that the IEEE has created many, many reference models (try searching at ask.com or your favorite search engine using “IEEE reference model” as your search string to see what I mean)? Given that you mention the physical layer in your question as well, I’m
pretty sure that you mean the ISO/OSI Network Reference Model instead. (Note ISO/OSI stands for International Organization for Standards/Open Systems Interconnect.)
If my guess is correct, you’ll find a great general definition of the OSI Networking Model (as it’s also often called) at WhatIs.com at http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid7_gci523729,00.html.
If my guess is incorrect, please post again with the complete name of your reference model (and an IEEE specification or standards number, if possible) so as to be as clear as possible about your query.
Assuming again that my guess is correct, because you’re particularly interested in Layer 1, the Physical Layer, you’ll also find the following references of great potential interest:
* Steve Steinke’s Network Magazine article “Encoding, Modulation, and the Physical Layer” (http://www.networkmagazine.com/article/NMG20000726S0009)
* Charles F. Spurgeon: “Ethernet: The Definitive Guide,” O’Reilly & Associates, 2000. ISBN: 1565926609. Chapters 2 through 13 provide the best coverage of Ethernet signalling, behavior, and supported physical media of any reference I know. Though you’ll occasionally stray into Layer 2 (Media Access Control/Data Link sublayers), you’ll find lots of coverage of Layer 1 design and implementation issues here, too.
* ITWorld.com has a large number of articles that deal with physical layer concepts, issues, and implementations for a wide variety of wired, optical, and wireless media. Visit their site and search on “Physical Layer” for a real treasure trove of deep technical information.