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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Introductory Mechanics

Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX XSeries


Learn physics just like an MIT freshman would in our Introductory Mechanics X-Series. This set of modules will take you through the full set of topics covered in the first semester of physics at MIT.

In the first module, you’ll explore the basic kinematic description of motion and the causes of motion—forces—and discuss more complex situations, such as a rocket whose mass depends on time, or the tension in a massive rope. Then you’ll learn to use energy (kinetic, potential) instead of forces to describe the same physics. Finally, we dive into more complicated topics such as angular momentum, torque, and rotational dynamics and end the series with a mathematical description of simple harmonic motion and use that to approximate the simple pendulum and other cases where we can approximate the potential function as a quadratic.

This series of courses requires the use of calculus, but many of the concepts will be reviewed as needed.


Courses under this program:
Course 1: Mechanics: Kinematics and Dynamics

Learn about kinematics and dynamics in this calculus-based physics course.

Course 2: Mechanics: Momentum and Energy

Learn about momentum and energy in this calculus-based physics course.

Course 3: Mechanics: Rotational Dynamics

Learn about rotational dynamics, rigid bodies and moment of inertia in this calculus-based physics course.

Course 4: Mechanics: Simple Harmonic Motion

Learn how to solve and understand simple harmonic motion in this calculus-based physics class.


Taught by

Saif Rayyan, Analia Barrantes, Michelle Tomasik, Anna Frebel, Deepto Chakrabarty, Peter Dourmashkin, George Stephans and Aidan MacDonagh

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