Should I take an advanced physics course

10 Great Physics Courses You Can Take Online For Free Now

Here are 10 physics courses you can take right now with some of the best experts in the world.

  • You can find numerous physics courses that are currently available online for free .
  • The courses are taught by teachers with amazing credits like Nobel Prizes and field defining papers.
  • Topics range from an introduction to Einstein's theory of relativity, particle physics, dark energy, quantum mechanics, and more.

The internet has lived up to its educational promise in many ways and can be an amazing resource for learning pretty much anything. This is especially true if you are interested in physics, the study of matter, energy, and the fundamental interactions and forces of our universe. There are hundreds of great free courses with leading and even Nobel Prize-winning teachers.

To get you started, we worked through the resources to create a list of 10 courses you can take right now to begin your physics journey.

Here we go:

1. How Things Work: An Introduction to Physics

A great introductory course that looks at physics in the context of everyday objects and processes. How does skating work? Why do things fall The course uses the cases of ramps, wheels, bumper cars, and more to shed light on the physics of life around you. It is taught by the University of Virginia Physics professor Louis A. Bloomfield, a well-known science educator, lecturer, author, and television presenter.


2. Basics of physics I.

If you want to brush up on the essential concepts of physics, check out this course from Yale University could be for you Taught by the physics professor Ramamurti Shankar, The lessons cover the principles and methods of physics and focus on problem solving, quantitative thinking, and concepts such as Newtonian mechanics, special relativity, gravity, waves, and thermodynamics.


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3. Astrophysics: The Violent Universe

Would you like to know some of the most mysterious phenomena in the universe? This fun course will get you up to speed on white dwarfs, supernovae, neutron stars and black holes.

The 9-week course from the Australian National University has over 60,000 people enrolled and is taught by Brian Schmidt, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist for his work on the discovery of dark energy. His co-teacher is the science educator and astrophysics researcher Paul Francis, He holds a PhD from Cambridge University and has worked with NASA. He is particularly known for working on the spectra of quasars.


4. From the big bang to dark energy

Would you like a general introduction to some of the key ideas about how the universe came about and where it's going? The Big Bang, the formation of the elements, the Higgs boson, dark matter, dark energy and antimatter all play a prominent role in this 14-hour course offered by the Tokyo University.

It is taught by Hitoshi Murayama, a professor of physics at the University of California at Berkley and director of the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe.


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5. Physics: Introduction to electricity and magnetism

Do you want to understand electricity and magnetism? Take this course which currently has over 16,000 students online! This course was created by Scott Redmond who previously worked as a mission operations analyst in support of the International Space Station and conducted astronaut training before turning to physics classes. The course offers 46 lectures in over 4 hours of video content and additional material.


6. Understanding Einstein: The special theory of relativity

This interesting 8 week course is taught by Stanford University ' s Academic Director and Historian of Science Larry Randles Camp Stream goes deep into how Einstein came up with his famous theory. While the class sets both the history and theory background, it provides a better understanding of the theory of relativity.


7. Quantum mechanics: wave functions, operators and expectation values

This advanced 7 week course from WITH You will learn the basics of quantum mechanics and introduce concepts such as wave functions, the Schrödinger equation, uncertainty relations and the properties of quantum observables. The course is aimed at those with previous courses in analysis and physics at university level.

The currently archived but available course is taught by MIT physics professor Barton Zwiebach, a specialist in string theory and theoretical particle physics, along with a lecturer in MIT physics Jolyon Bloomfield.


8. Particle Physics: An Introduction

If learning about how very small things work and you love supercolliders, this is the course for you. In this course, you will learn about subatomic physics, including the properties of atomic nuclei, the detection and acceleration of particles, and electromagnetic, strong and weak interactions. And of course the Higgs boson appears. The lessons also talk about how particle physics can be linked to astrophysics and the bigger questions of the universe.

This 31-hour course from the University of Geneva is taught by professor Marin Pohl who works in experimental particle physics on European colliders such as the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) in Switzerland. His current focus is on astroparticle physics in space. The second teacher on the course is an assistant professor Anna Sfyrla, an experimental particle physicist who teaches at the University of Geneva.


9. Basic lessons from string theory

Is the universe made of threads? When you are ready to read some of the most important explanations for everything that exists, join this great master class that can be completed in a few hours. It is taught by the Harvard University Physics professor and string theorist Cumrun Vafa, and was developed with the world famous string theorist Andrew Strominger.


10. Relativity and astrophysics

If you want to understand Einstein's theory of relativity better, you will be interested in the connection to astronomy as explored in this course by Cornell University. Taught by astronomy professor David F. Chernoff, an expert in theoretical astrophysics, the lessons will deepen your knowledge by focusing on special and general theory of relativity, as well as experimental tests that you can take to study it. You can also analyze paradoxes in special relativity and learn how relativity affects everyday situations.

The prerequisite for this 4-week (currently archived but available) course requires a minimum of high school level math and physics or an intro college course in both.

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