The Mars Rover’s mission may be over but that doesn’t mean we should close the books on science and physics for the year. IBM is ratcheting up its advances in Quantum computing with Q System One, Elon Musk is building a heavy metal rocket ship and CERN plans to beef up the Large Hadron Collider. What does the future hold for supersymmetry and particle physics? Only time will tell.
With the continued growth of Massively Open Online Courses (‘MOOCs’), there has never been more access to high quality content to learn physics. So take a look at the list below, and whatever your interest in physics, whether it be an introduction to physics, electricity, or Einstein’s theory of relativity, dive in and increase your understanding of the basic building blocks of the world around us.
Note: To understand how these courses work, do read our FAQ. Unfortunately not all of these courses are available now. Add a course to MOOC Tracker and we will notify you when a course becomes available.
Intro to Physics via Udacity
Go to the places where big physics discoveries were made in the past and make them yourself. You’ll visit Italy, the Netherlands, and the UK as you learn basic physics.
★★★★☆ (16 ratings)
Space, Time and Einstein via World Science U
Join a visual and conceptual introduction to Einstein’s spectacular insights into space, time and energy.
★★★★★ (4 ratings)
Introduction to Solid State Physics Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur via NPTEL
The course deals with introducing concepts of condensed matter physics to advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Experimental Physics I Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur via NPTEL
This course will make you understand the working principle of many common devices through their applications in different experiments with particular aims.
Plasma Physics: Introduction École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne via edX
Learn the basics of plasma, one of the fundamental states of matter, and the different types of models used to describe it, including fluid and kinetic.
Think Like a Physicist via Canvas Network
Explore natural forces like buoyancy, waves, and how gravity makes it all happen. This Real Science Labs online course give students a hands-on lab experience as they examine the forces of the natural world.
Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers Stanford University via Stanford OpenEdx
This course aims to teach quantum mechanics to anyone with a reasonable college-level understanding of physical science or engineering. This course is a substantial introduction to quantum mechanics and how to use it. It is specifically designed to be accessible not only to physicists but also to students and technical professionals over a wide range of science and engineering backgrounds.
★★★★★ (4 ratings)
Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers 2 Stanford University via Stanford OpenEdx
This course covers key topics in the use of quantum mechanics in many modern applications in science and technology, introduces core advanced concepts such as spin, identical particles, the quantum mechanics of light, the basics of quantum information, and the interpretation of quantum mechanics, and covers the major ways in which quantum mechanics is written and used in modern practice.
Applications of Quantum Mechanics Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX
This course focuses on essential techniques needed for practical applications and research in Quantum Mechanics. We introduce a variety of approximation methods to understand systems that have no analytic solutions.
Introduction into General Theory of Relativity Higher School of Economics via Coursera
General Theory of Relativity or the theory of relativistic gravitation is the one which describes black holes, gravitational waves and expanding Universe. The goal of the course is to introduce you into this theory.
Plasma Physics: Applications École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne via edX
Learn about plasma applications from nuclear fusion powering the sun, to making integrated circuits, to generating electricity.
Einstein’s Astrophysical Messengers via World Science U
Gabriela González’s team at LIGO uses ground-based experiments to search for gravitational waves produced by black holes. In this Master Class, learn how they conduct this search and what mysteries they hope to solve about our universe.
The Black Hole Information Paradox via World Science U
In the 1970s, Stephen Hawking realized a major conflict arising from the quantum nature of black holes. String theorist Samir Mathur has been working for many years on this yet-unsolved problem, and has a radical solution to the so-called information paradox.
Exploring the Warped Universe via World Science U
On September 14, 2015, the LIGO gravitational wave detectors made the first confirmed detection of a gravitational wave. Join physicist Nergis Mavalvala as she takes you on an incredible journey from LIGO’s humble beginnings to its groundbreaking discovery.
New Ideas About Dark Matter via World Science U
Join Justin Khoury as he takes you to the interface of particle physics and dark matter cosmology in search of answers to one of physics’ biggest mysteries.
100 Years of Gravitational Waves via World Science U
Renowned physicist Rai Weiss is best known as one of the original creators of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). Join him as he explores the history of this amazing project and the technology that made it a reality.
Nature’s Constituents via World Science U
With the discovery of the Higgs particle in 2013, the Standard Model came closer to being a complete theory. In this Master Class, Maria Spiropulu, Professor of Physics at Caltech, examines the robustness of the Standard Model, and takes a look at the future of particle physics.
★★★★★ (1 rating)
Addressing Large Hadron Collider Challenges by Machine Learning Higher School of Economics via Coursera
The assignments of this course will give you opportunity to apply your skills in the search for the New Physics using advanced data analysis techniques. Upon the completion of the course you will understand both the principles of the Experimental Physics and Machine Learning much better.
Methods of Surface Analysis National Research Nuclear University MEPhI via Coursera
This course describes the most widely used analysis methods in contemporary surface science. It presents the strengths and weaknesses of each method so that you can choose the one that provides you with the information you need. It also reviews what each method cannot give to you, as well as how to interpret the results obtained from each method.
Effective Field Theory Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX
8.EFTx is a graduate course on Effective Field Theory (EFT), which provides a fundamental framework to describe physical systems with quantum field theory. For residential students it is listed as 8.851.
Spray Theory Indian Institute of Technology Madras via NPTEL
The goal of this course is to provide an overview of physics of liquid atomization, spray formation and propagation.
Past and Future of Unification via World Science U
Throughout the history of physics, scientists have worked to unify many different fields into an all-encompassing description of the universe. String theorist Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director and Leon Levy Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, discusses the connections between the very big and the infinitesimally small.
Fundamental Lessons From String Theory via World Science U
Cumrun Vafa, together with fellow world-renowned string theorist Andrew Strominger, developed a new way to calculate black hole entropy in the language of string theory. Follow Vafa as he guides you through some of the more incredible things we have learned since string theory’s inception.
Mechanics & Motion
Statistical Mechanics: Algorithms and Computations École normale supérieure via Coursera
In this course you will learn a whole lot of modern physics (classical and quantum) from basic computer programs that you will download, generalize, or write from scratch, discuss, and then hand in. Join in if you are curious (but not necessarily knowledgeable) about algorithms, and about the deep insights into science that you can obtain by the algorithmic approach.
★★★★★ (3 ratings)
Mechanics ReView Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX
Mechanics ReView is an MIT-level introductory mechanics class emphasizing a strategic problem-solving approach. It covers the same syllabus topics as the Advanced Placement Mechanics-C course.
★★★★★ (1 rating)
Kinematics: Describing the Motions of Spacecraft University of Colorado Boulder via Coursera
This course in Kinematics covers four major topic areas: an introduction to particle kinematics, a deep dive into rigid body kinematics in two parts. The course ends with a look at static attitude determination, using modern algorithms to predict and execute relative orientations of bodies in space.
★★★☆☆ (1 rating)
Mechanics: Motion, Forces, Energy and Gravity, from Particles to Planets University of New South Wales via Coursera
This on-demand course is recommended for senior high school and beginning university students and anyone with a curiosity about basic physics. The course uses rich multimedia tutorials to present the material: film clips of key experiments, animations and worked example problems, all with a friendly narrator.
★★★★☆ (1 rating)
Mechanics: Simple Harmonic Motion Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX
Learn how to solve and understand simple harmonic motion in this calculus-based physics class.
Mechanics: Rotational Dynamics Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX
Learn about rotational dynamics, rigid bodies and moment of inertia in this calculus-based physics course.
Kinetics: Studying Spacecraft Motion University of Colorado Boulder via Coursera
After this course, you will be able to… *Derive from basic angular momentum formulation the rotational equations of motion and predict and determine torque-free motion equilibria and associated stabilities * Develop equations of motion for a rigid body with multiple spinning components and derive and apply the gravity gradient torque * Apply the static stability conditions of a dual-spinner configuration and predict changes as momentum exchange devices are introduced * Derive equations of motion for systems in which various momentum exchange devices are present.
Control of Nonlinear Spacecraft Attitude Motion University of Colorado Boulder via Coursera
This course trains you in the skills needed to program specific orientation and achieve precise aiming goals for spacecraft moving through three dimensional space. After this course, you will be able to… * Differentiate between a range of nonlinear stability concepts * Apply Lyapunov’s direct method to argue stability and convergence on a range of dynamical systems * Develop rate and attitude error measures for a 3-axis attitude control using Lyapunov theory * Analyze rigid body control convergence with unmodeled torque.
Electronic Materials and Devices Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX
Learn how electronic devices, such as diodes and transistors, are designed to exploit the electrical properties of materials.
★★★★☆ (3 ratings)
Electricity and Magnetism, Part 1 Rice University via edX
PHYS 102.1x serves as an introduction to charge, the electric field, the electric potential, current, resistance, and DC circuits with resistors and capacitors.
★★★★★ (2 ratings)
Electricity and Magnetism: Electrostatics Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX
Learn how charges interact with each other and create electric fields and electric potential landscapes in this introductory-level physics course.
Electricity and Magnetism: Maxwell’s Equations Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX
In this final part of 8.02, we will cover Faraday’s Law, Circuits with Inductors, Maxwell’s equations, and electromagnetic radiation. This introductory Electromagnetism physics course will require the use of calculus.
Electricity & Magnetism, Part 2 Rice University via edX
PHYS 102.2x serves as an introduction to the magnetic field, how it is created by currents and magnetic materials, induction and inductors, and AC circuits.
Introduction to Photonics Indian Institute of Technology Madras via NPTEL
Introductory course in photonics leading to more advanced courses such as Lasers, Optical Communications, Optical Sensors and Photonics Integrated Circuits.
Laser: Fundamentals and Applications Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur via NPTEL
This course is intended for students who need to understand the basic principles of how lasers work and their main properties. This course provides the students a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of lasers: their unique properties, their operations and their applications.
Basic Steps in Magnetic Resonance École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne via edX
A MOOC to discover basic concepts and a wide range of intriguing applications of magnetic resonance to physics, chemistry, and biology
Physics of silicon solar cells École Polytechnique via Coursera
The first MOOC “Photovoltaic solar energy” is a general presentation of the solar photovoltaics technologies in the global energetic context, without extensive details. In particular the description of the solar cell operation is restricted to the ideal case In contrast this second MOOC allows a deep understanding of the properties of solar cells based on crystalline semiconductors.
Getting started in cryo-EM California Institute of Technology via Coursera
This class covers the fundamental principles underlying cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) starting with the basic anatomy of electron microscopes, an introduction to Fourier transforms, and the principles of image formation. Building upon that foundation, the class then covers the sample preparation issues, data collection strategies, and basic image processing workflows for all 3 basic modalities of modern cryo-EM: tomography, single particle analysis, and 2-D crystallography.
A brief course on Superconductivity Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati via NPTEL
The course deals with the basics of superconductivity, including Meissner effect, electrodynamic response, -type-I and type-II superconductors etc.
Statistical Molecular Thermodynamics University of Minnesota via Coursera
This introductory physical chemistry course examines the connections between molecular properties and the behavior of macroscopic chemical systems.
★★★★☆ (4 ratings)
Introduction to Thermodynamics: Transferring Energy from Here to There University of Michigan via Coursera
This course provides an introduction to the most powerful engineering principles you will ever learn – Thermodynamics: the science of transferring energy from one place or form to another place or form. Understanding how energy systems work is key to understanding how to meet all these needs around the world. Because energy demands are only increasing, this course also provides the foundation for many rewarding professional careers.
★★★★☆ (3 ratings)
Thermodynamics Indian Institute of Technology Bombay via edX
Introduction to basic concepts and applications of thermodynamics in mechanical engineering.
★★★★★ (3 ratings)
The Basics of Transport Phenomena Delft University of Technology via edX
Learn the basic framework to work on a broad spectrum of engineering problems concerning transfer of heat, mass and momentum. Learn through examples of everyday processes at home, in the lab and in industry.
★★★★☆ (1 rating)
Conduction and Convection Heat Transfer Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur via NPTEL
This is an introductory course in conduction and convection heat transfer. The subject heat transfer has a wide scope and is of prime importance in almost all fields of engineering and biological systems. The course emphasizes the underlying concepts of the conduction and convection modes of heat transfer and enumerates the laws and governing equations relating to the rates of heat transfer, based on derivation from fundamentals.
This course introduces the basics of Digital Signal Processing and computational acoustics, motivated by the vibrational physics of real-world objects and systems. The free open-source software provided will make it possible for anyone to use physical models in their art-making, game or movie sound, or any other application.
★★★★★ (10 ratings)
Introduction to Acoustics (Part 2) Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology via Coursera
Learners might have learned the basic concepts of the acoustics from the ‘Introduction to Acoustics (Part 1).’ Now it is time to apply to the real situation and develop their own acoustical application. Learners will analyze the radiation, scattering, and diffraction phenomenon with the Kirchhoff –Helmholtz Equation. Then learners will design their own reverberation room or ducts that fulfill the condition they have set up.
★★☆☆☆ (1 rating)
Fundamentals of waves and vibrations École Polytechnique via Coursera
Waves are everywhere. On water of course, but also in the air as you hear a plane, and under your feet during an earthquake certainly. Vibrations, too, are everywhere In your bike as you go over a bump, in you guitar as you play, and of course in your smartphone. You can guess that there is something in common behind all this. This is exactly the purpose of this course!
Richard Feynman Lectures
Richard Feynman Messenger Lectures (1964) In these Messenger Lectures on “The Character of Physical Law,” originally delivered at Cornell University and recorded by BBC Nov. 9-19, 1964, physicist Richard Feynman offers an overview of selected physical laws and gathers their common features into one broad principle of invariance. From 1945 to 1950, Feynman taught theoretical physics at Cornell. He went on to accept a professorship at Caltech and was named co-winner of the 1965 Nobel Prize in physics.
The Feynman Lectures on Physics The Feynman Lectures on Physics was based on a two-year introductory physics course that Richard Feynman taught at Caltech from 1961 to 1963; it was published in three volumes during the years 1963 to 1965, and used as theintroductory physics textbook at Caltech for nearly two decades.
OpenCourseWare Physics courses
OpenCourseWare courses are recordings of in-class lectures put online.
Physics Of Energy
The course is designed for MIT sophomores, juniors, and seniors who want to understand the fundamental laws and physical processes that govern the sources, extraction, transmission, storage, degradation, and end uses of energy.
Physics II: Electricity & Magnetism
This freshman-level course is the second semester of introductory physics. The focus is on electricity and magnetism. The subject is taught using the TEAL (Technology Enabled Active Learning) format which utilizes small group interaction and current technology. The TEAL/Studio Project at MIT is a new approach to physics education designed to help students develop much better intuition about, and conceptual models of, physical phenomena.
Quantum Physics I
This course covers the experimental basis of quantum physics. It introduces wave mechanics, Schrödinger’s equation in a single dimension, and Schrödinger’s equation in three dimensions.
It is the first course in the undergraduate Quantum Physics sequence, followed by 8.05 Quantum Physics II and 8.06 Quantum Physics III.
This is a one-semester class about gauge/gravity duality (often called AdS/CFT) and its applications.
Exploring Black Holes: General Relativity & Astrophysics
Study of physical effects in the vicinity of a black hole as a basis for understanding general relativity, astrophysics, and elements of cosmology. Extension to current developments in theory and observation. Energy and momentum in flat spacetime; the metric; curvature of spacetime near rotating and nonrotating centers of attraction; trajectories and orbits of particles and light; elementary models of the Cosmos.
Fundamentals of Physics I
This course provides a thorough introduction to the principles and methods of physics for students who have good preparation in physics and mathematics. Emphasis is placed on problem solving and quantitative reasoning. This course covers Newtonian mechanics, special relativity, gravitation, thermodynamics, and waves.
Fundamentals of Physics II
This is a continuation of Fundamentals of Physics, I (PHYS 200), the introductory course on the principles and methods of physics for students who have good preparation in physics and mathematics. This course covers electricity, magnetism, optics and quantum mechanics.
Einstein’s General Relativity & Gravitation
This course is listed as Physics 255: General Relativity in the UCI course catalogue. An introduction to Einstein’s theory of gravitation. Tensor analysis, Einstein’s field equations, astronomical tests of Einstein’s theory, gravitational waves.
This course will show you how to apply simple physics models to the motion of objects. UCI Physics 7C covers the following topics: force, energy, momentum, rotation, and gravity.
Lectures on Continuum Physics
The idea for these Lectures on Continuum Physics grew out of a short series of talks on materials physics at University of Michigan, in the summer of 2013. Those talks were aimed at advanced graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and faculty colleagues. From this group the suggestion emerged that a somewhat complete set of lectures on continuum aspects of materials physics would be useful.
Introduction to Finite Element Methods
It is hoped that these lectures on Finite Element Methods will complement the series on Continuum Physics to provide a point of departure from which the seasoned researcher or advanced graduate student can embark on work in (continuum) computational physics.