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Online Course

How Things Work: An Introduction to Physics

University of Virginia via Coursera

13.6k
Found in Physics
  • Provider Coursera
  • Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session In progress
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 2-4 hours a week
  • Duration 8 weeks long
  • Learn more about MOOCs

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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

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Reviews for Coursera's How Things Work: An Introduction to Physics Based on 23 reviews

  • 5 stars 78%
  • 4 stars 17%
  • 3 star 4%
  • 2 star 0%
  • 1 star 0%

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  • 1
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).
7 people found
this review helpful
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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.
7 people found
this review helpful
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Vicky P
by 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.
3 people found
this review helpful
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Maboroshi M
by 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.
3 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
pssGuy completed this course.
Title is bit misleading as it is really a physic course

for the non-scientist

Lots of practical examples
2 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
I enjoyed this course. It helped me understand how some things around me work. :)
1 person found
this review helpful
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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.
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Ryan B
by 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.
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