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Best of All-Time Online Course

How Things Work: An Introduction to Physics

University of Virginia via Coursera

Overview

An introduction to physics in the context of everyday objects.

Syllabus

Course Introduction
-Start here!

Skating
-Professor Bloomfield examines the principle of inertia through skate boarding. Objects at rest tend to remain at rest while objects in motion, tend to remain in motion. Why does a stationary skater remain stationary? Why does a moving skater tend to continue moving? How can we describe the fluid, effortless motion of a coasting skater? How does a skater start, stop, or turn? Why does a skater need ice or wheels in order to skate? Physics concepts covered include Newton's first and second laws and 5 physical quantities: position, velocity, acceleration, force, and mass.

Falling Balls
-Professor Bloomfield examines the physics concepts of gravity, weight, constant acceleration, and projectile motion working with falling balls.

Ramps
-Professor Bloomfield examines the physics concepts of Newton's third law including conserved quantities, support forces, work, energy, and mechanical advantage working with ramps.

Seesaws
-Professor Bloomfield illustrates the physics concepts of rotational versus translational motion, Newton's law of rotation, and 5 physical quantities: angular position, angular velocity, angular acceleration, torque, and rotational mass using seesaws.

Wheels
-Professor Bloomfield illustrates the physics concept of frictional forces through experiments with wheels.

Bumper Cars
-Professor Bloomfield examines the physics concepts of momentum, impulse, angular momentum, angular impulse, and the relationship between potential energy and force using bumper cars.

Final
-This is the final exam.

Taught by

Louis A. Bloomfield

Tags

Reviews

4.7 rating, based on 27 reviews

Start your review of How Things Work: An Introduction to Physics

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Well presented, a high school level introduction to physics.

    Only one try at quizzes (unusual for Coursera in my experience) meant the quizzes were not themselves learning experiences. To me that pressure to do it right the first time or lose forever made the course far less fun than most Coursera courses (and inconsistent with things learned in Gamification and other studies of motivation).
  • Keith O.

    Keith completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.

    This was an excellent course. The demonstrations are very supportive of the content. This course isn't just another dry lecture. Dr. Bloomfield tries to add some humor into his videos to help with the understanding.
  • Vicky completed this course, spending 1 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    I wish I had this course when I was in secondary school. It explained physics in a more concrete and easy-to-grasp way than traditional teaching and I really appreciate the videos.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    The videos are great. Professor Louis hits hard on the concepts and will correct any misunderstandings you have about the basics of physics. The quizzes also ask helpful conceptual questions that help you weed out your understanding... Problem is you have to pay about $50 to have them graded! Way overpriced for someone casually learning physics. I fully understand paying for content, but the price point for the right to submit a computer graded multiple choice quiz is too high when you’re not interested in the cert: especially considering the amount of free competition elsewhere.
  • Maboroshi completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    Vivid experiments show lots of fun to make the lectures impressive. It's kind of the rudimentary course for physics but still contains some difficult concepts.
  • pssGuy

    pssGuy completed this course.

    Title is bit misleading as it is really a physic course

    for the non-scientist

    Lots of practical examples
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I enjoyed this course. It helped me understand how some things around me work. :)
  • Profile image for Jamie Parker
    Jamie P.

    Jamie completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    This course was one of the best courses I have ever done.
    It related to the real world really well and made it easier to understand.
    I looked forward to doing it every day.
  • Sunita S.

    Sunita completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.

    All people done some work. But they don't know how this work. Work is done by force of gravity. The difference type of work done by different force of gravity
  • Ryan completed this course, spending 7 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    This course had a great Professor. Light hearted, good energy, explains basic concepts well. Good diction, good examples, easy to follow.
  • Indu B.

    Indu is taking this course right now.

    Nice course. It builds our capacity. We can learn more things about our interest. Easy way of learning. Sitting at a place and getting more knowledge. We can visualize the world and the learner at a place where we are sitting.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The content is well planned and organized. The explanation and demonstration of concepts made by Professor Louis A Bloomfield in very simple and easy to understand way. Overall an interesting course.
  • Dhruv P.

    Dhruv is taking this course right now, spending 1 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

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