8.01x: Classical Mechanics

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edX online courses
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be tau...
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

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Course Description

*Note - This is an Archived course* This is a past/archived course. At this time, you can only explore this course in a self-paced fashion. Certain features of this course may not be active, but many people enjoy watching the videos and working with the materials. Make sure to check for reruns of this course. 8.01x is an online version of Classical Mechanics, which is the first of MIT's introductory physics courses. The course covers the basic concepts of Newtonian mechanics, fluid mechanics and kinetic gas theory. A variety of other interesting topics are covered, such as resonance phenomena, musical instruments and astronomical phenomena such as binary stars, neutron stars, black holes, stellar collapse, and supernovae. You will also be given a peek into the intriguing world of quantum mechanics. The course follows the MIT on-campus class as it was given by the renowned Professor Walter Lewin in the fall of 1999. This includes his ... *Note - This is an Archived course* This is a past/archived course. At this time, you can only explore this course in a self-paced fashion. Certain features of this course may not be active, but many people enjoy watching the videos and working with the materials. Make sure to check for reruns of this course. 8.01x is an online version of Classical Mechanics, which is the first of MIT's introductory physics courses. The course covers the basic concepts of Newtonian mechanics, fluid mechanics and kinetic gas theory. A variety of other interesting topics are covered, such as resonance phenomena, musical instruments and astronomical phenomena such as binary stars, neutron stars, black holes, stellar collapse, and supernovae. You will also be given a peek into the intriguing world of quantum mechanics. The course follows the MIT on-campus class as it was given by the renowned Professor Walter Lewin in the fall of 1999. This includes his video lectures, problem solving sessions, and, of course, his famous in-class demonstrations. Professor Lewin, proclaimed "a Web Star" by The New York Times, has supplemented his lectures by including interactive questions to help students check their understanding during the lectures themselves. You will complete automatically graded weekly homework problems and exams to test your understanding and to help you master the material. Lectures are interspersed with questions to be answered. There is a moderated forum for student-to-student threaded discussions. While homework deadlines will be strictly enforced, the lowest homework grade will be dropped. Your grade will be based on the interactive questions during the lectures (10%), homework problems (15%), three midterm exams (15% each), and the final exam (30%). Your grade will be as follows: A (more than 85%), B (70-85%), C (60-70%). At least 60% must be obtained to qualify for a certificate. The book is available on line without charge, but you can also buy a printed copy of the book  (publisher Wiley). Since the book is a record of things you will soon forget, Professor Lewin recommends you buy the book if you can afford it. ABOUT THE LECTURES Lewin's lectures at MIT are legendary. Many have been shown for over six years (starting in 1995) on UWTV in Seattle, reaching an audience of about four million people. For fifteen years (starting in 1983) he was on MIT Cable TV helping freshmen with their weekly homework assignments. His programs were aired 24 hours per day and were frequently watched by upper-class students. Additionally, his 35 lectures on Newtonian Mechanics, 36 lectures on Electricity and Magnetism and 23 lectures on Vibrations and Waves can also be viewed at MIT'S OpenCourseWare, iTunes U, YouTube and Academic Earth. About 5000 people daily from all over the world watch these lectures - that's about two million people per year! Many teachers show them regularly in their classrooms. Bill Gates even wrote Professor Lewin that he has watched all his lectures more than once and he has learned a lot from them. The many responses that Professor Lewin receives daily are quite wonderful and often very moving.
Reviews 10/10 stars
13 Reviews for 8.01x: Classical Mechanics

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10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 2 months ago
Please tell when this course will be offered next. I am very excited to take up this course from MIT at edx.
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Charles King profile image
Charles King profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 6 reviews
  • 4 completed
5 years, 2 months ago
This is the Gold Standard, the shining example by which all other MOOCs should be judged. It is seldom that one encounters such a superb example of educational excellence. The material was challenging, yet explained in a clear and logical manner. The quizzes were no pushover, but demonstrated how such problems could be solved by a rational and methodical approach. This course was the result of years of work, with  the material already having been refined for classroom delivery. The transition to a MOOC was nearly flawless, largely because of the unstinting efforts of the TAs. Everyone involved with the course should feel proud of their work here.
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Arnold Tanondong profile image
Arnold Tanondong profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 8 reviews
  • 4 completed
5 years, 5 months ago
\- The best course on Classical Mechanics so far. \- Prof. Lewin's lectures and demonstrations are simply amazing that the probability that you will start loving Physics is very high. \- Exercises and Exams are substantially enough for you to fully grasp the concepts. \- You will need some familiarity on Calculus and Differential Equations.
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10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 5 months ago
I want to greet and honor the greatest planetary disseminator of physics in modern times. Walter your classes were great fun and have done a lot more than just teaching, each of us now brings with him a spark of your creative genius. God bless you, even in the case you were not a beliver.
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Allan Yue profile image
Allan Yue profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 completed
5 years, 6 months ago
I liked Dr. Lewin's 8.01x. Compared with my high school physics experience it was far superior. I came in hating physics but now I feel physics can be fun. Although not my best subject, but I feel that contributes to me majoring in science in college. I LOVE DR. LEWIN!!!! HIGHLY RECOMMEND
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Homer Thompson profile image
Homer Thompson profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 9 reviews
  • 7 completed
5 years, 4 months ago
Professor Lewin's 8.01 is probably the course most responsible for why we have MOOCs today. I remember reading about this course in the NY Times years ago and it was one of the first offerings from MIT's OCW more than a decade back. It's about the clearest and most exciting introduction to mechanics one will ever find. Lewin has very very few peers when it comes to instructional talent: the only others I have seen that are as good are Terry Tao, Richard Feynman, Harold Abelson, and Ronen Plesser. Lewin tells you he will make you love physics, and he really means it. Prof Lewin's lectures aren't filled with tedious derivations that are best left to the textbook. Instead, they're mostly tests of whether physics really works, or whether it's just some BS that looks nice when you calculate the answer on your problem set. The first thing Lewin does is teach you how to deal with uncertainties so that you can meaningfully analyze an experim... Professor Lewin's 8.01 is probably the course most responsible for why we have MOOCs today. I remember reading about this course in the NY Times years ago and it was one of the first offerings from MIT's OCW more than a decade back. It's about the clearest and most exciting introduction to mechanics one will ever find. Lewin has very very few peers when it comes to instructional talent: the only others I have seen that are as good are Terry Tao, Richard Feynman, Harold Abelson, and Ronen Plesser. Lewin tells you he will make you love physics, and he really means it. Prof Lewin's lectures aren't filled with tedious derivations that are best left to the textbook. Instead, they're mostly tests of whether physics really works, or whether it's just some BS that looks nice when you calculate the answer on your problem set. The first thing Lewin does is teach you how to deal with uncertainties so that you can meaningfully analyze an experiment. The answer to how far the ball flies never agrees exactly with the one your calculator spit out, but it's such an awesome thing to see how you can factor in your uncertainties due to your meter stick, due to your ability to stop and start the timer, due to how close you could set the initial angle, and so on. Once you learn this, the true aim of the course shines through. Lewin treats the course almost as if you should be a skeptic, and then he goes and shows you these laws actually work in the real world to very well-defined limits of uncertainty. His aim is to show you that physics works, and that it's not just doing mathematics. Lewin loves to throw very difficult challenges out at you at the end of lectures to make you think of difficult cases of problems discussed in class. He always says it's good for a budding physicist to have sleepless nights thinking about these problems. But the crazy thing is, he gives you the knowledge you need to solve these. Where this course really shines most is in the sections on angular momentum and torque. These are very difficult concepts treated with great care, and lots of physical demonstrations. Furthermore, Lewin can throw tons of interesting rotational examples out at you involving astrophysics (his field). The spinning of an ice skater is nice, but the collapse of a neutron star is a way cooler angular momentum problem! When he illustrates precession with a bicycle wheel and shows the consequences of the conservation of angular momentum it is so unexpected, and it would be such a difficult thing to accept if you only read it in the textbook. To me, we live in such a great age to be able to take a real MIT physics course from one of the best teachers to ever live. Anyone who likes physics will just fall in love with this spectacular course that always emphasizes the physics, and never focuses on just computing the integral. This is the course that blazed the trail for everything we take now, and it's still probably the greatest ever made. Not to be missed at any cost.
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Rahul Sharma profile image
Rahul Sharma profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 completed
5 years, 9 months ago
Prof. Lewin delivered what he had promised, to change our perspective of looking at the world. It is a great course and anyone can take it, even those without any prior knowledge of physics. It was extremely engaging. The lecture videos were so much fun and there was so much to practice, that you can't help being good at Physics in the end. And we had such great people taking the course, who themselves were great teachers. Do you find the world around you intriguing? If your answer is yes, take the course and you will love it. If it is a no, take it, and the world will change for you.
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Zhangjinqiang profile image
Zhangjinqiang profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 5 reviews
  • 5 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
This is one of best courses I have taken, including physical and online ones. Prof. Lewin is so passionate in physics that it'll certainly affect every student. Experiments are fun to watch, impressive or even surprising sometimes. After completing this course, I felt my knowledge about Newtonian physics is more complete. I feel I can analyse any rigid body motion, including rotation which was missing in my knowledge before. The material also covered motion of the stars, e.g. Circular and elliptical. Difficulty wise, I feel it's not easy, as professor said, no course in MIT is easy. For me, sometimes the hard part comes from maths, I can get the differential equation, but don't know how to solve it. I put a lot of effort in the class, I think it's so worth it. Recommend it 100%
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Alexandre Marques profile image
Alexandre Marques profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 6 reviews
  • 4 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
I had studied some of the content course at university. I did the first part well, but it was consuming too much time. So I didn't finish it to keep my job and my family and to have time to sleep a little. Anyway it was the most challenging and engaging MOOC of all.
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steffen schwientek profile image
steffen schwientek profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 7 reviews
  • 4 completed
4 years, 11 months ago
Challenging, not watered down MIT introduction in classical mechanics. One of the best MOOCS I ever took.
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Rajesh Kumar profile image
Rajesh Kumar profile image
10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
5 years, 9 months ago
This course gives me a great understanding of Classical Mechanics as well as universal laws.After taking this course i learnt how you work in perfect manner and why we have to do all work as perfect as possible.I think everybody should take this course.Prof. Walter H.G.Lewin is ready to do anything for his students.His effort on the lecture can be seen easily.I love this course.
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Zafar Haider profile image
Zafar Haider profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
This course will give you everything that you want to know to improve your basics of Mechanics. Here you will learn everything that you have studied earlier and have forgotten in due course of time. After doing this course, I have developed a different approach of solving complicated problems in Mechanics. You will develop a "CAN SOLVE ANYTHING" attitude because after this course your approach to solving mechanical problems would be different.
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Rafael V. Ribeiro profile image
Rafael V. Ribeiro profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 8 reviews
  • 8 completed
4 years, 11 months ago
The best MOOC I've taken so far. The community is incredible, the support and lectures were amazing. Actually superior to a similar course I've taken on campus. Like CS50's slogan says, "demanding, but definitely doable"! If you've taken a bit of Calculus and some High School Physics and liked the latter, you'll get to love it after this course.
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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.