Learning Physics Through Free Courses

There’s something compelling about physics. Almost every major open courseware collection features a well-crafted physics course, and these courses consistently rank high on iTunesU and YouTube Edu. Let’s give a quick overview of the favorites.

At Stanford, we’re putting together a six course sequence called Modern Physics: The Theoretical Minimum. Taught by Leonard Susskind, one of America’s leading physics minds, this course traces the development of modern physics, moving from Newton to Einstein to Black Holes. So far, we’ve made five of the six courses available online (get them here), which amounts to 100 hours of free classroom footage. Hard to beat. (And, in case you’re wondering, the sixth course is being taped right now, and it will be coming online during the months to come.)

Another program that has received a fair amount of attention is Walter Lewin’s series of courses at MIT. As The New York Times has noted, Lewin has long had a cult following at MIT, and now, thanks to his physics courses, he’s achieved a minor degree of fame on the internet. His lectures, delivered with panache, can be found here:

A third course to call your attention to is Richard Muller’s Physics for Future Presidents (FeedMP3sYouTube).  The course comes out of UC Berkeley, where it’s an undergraduate favorite. (It’s also the basis of a recent book by the same name.) And the whole point here is to give citizens the scientific knowledge they need to understand critical issues facing our society.

Finally, another course worth reviewing is Fundamentals of Physics, which is taught by Ramamurti Shankar and it’s part of Yale’s Open Course initiative.

UPDATE: Since we originally created this collection, Bill Gates has posted Richard Feynman’s great lectures online. Learn more here.

All of these physics courses, and many more, can be found in our collection of Free Courses. You can also find the courses in our section called Physics: Free Courses.

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  • Appreciative Insomniac

    Thank you for sharing. :-)

  • http://whichuniversitybest.blogspot.com/ University Ranking

    Many of the top universities are now offering free courses like the University of Michigan and Yale. Hope there will be more free courses offered in many different fields.

  • http://donthaveone YEAR NINE EXAMS

    im only in year 9 and im doing an exam next week on physics im really worried because i have not learnt anything in my science class with Mr Brian IN Kings International College because he not fit to be a teacher because he can not teach properly and my parents are going to freak when i get my report because its going to be bad because he lies and he picks on people

  • prakash

    i would like to study physics online

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  • Sher

    can you get a transcript showing you took these online courses?

  • http://none mohammad jaylani

    Iwant to be member of your students


    I want to learn physics because I want to produce theory

  • http://yahoo lindsey

    good to get here coz i wanna chease ma lyf dreams..but its kind of hard for me to do it like now because i cant get throw all this..What should i do??

  • http://latestuniversityranking.blogspot.com Latest University Rankings

    Its good to see many universities are coming forward for open course wares. It would be good that apart from course notes, they publish class lectures like nptel, uc berkeley, mit and stanford

  • melvin goldstein

    Science and technology does have its limitation. There are Physics Foibles. See Godel Incompleteness.

  • http://www.yourboardbuddy.com Krishnan

    I need guidance. I am very keen on learning Physics. However do i need to first learn high school level maths & algebra before i start?

    looking forward to your input.


  • ravi

    i can teach physics online.If any one want to learn physics online at very low cost then contact me my email id is ravindrapardeshi5844@yahoo.com

  • http://ravindrapardeshi5844@yahoo.com sarah dass

    i would like to learn physics online as i have only started it a while now and i am doing exams next year so i want to know is there any way you can help me speed up the process my #18684949184 sarah.

  • Irfanullah_anwar

    I am about 17 years old.and i am student of 10th class and little bit weak in physics and exam is one and half month away form me please share some important notes to me. By which i take help from it…….Thanks.
    Yours obediently,

  • albert einstein


  • albert einstein


  • albert einstein


  • Abraham

    i need learn pleas help me!

  • Amara Sampha Kargbo

    Is it possible to subscribe in other to get lectures?

  • rose tyler

    Hi! I am only in elementary school (almost in jr high) and i really want to learn physics so i really need some help. Please help me.

    – Rose

  • Emeka S. Akunne

    though d level of knowledge i hav in Physics is little,I wish to increase and b an outstanding Physicist in d nearest years to come. Xo help me God!

  • McArthur

    I want to be a pilot and my mom says “I have to know physics to be a pilot” so, I need to start learning even though I don’t know anything about it, I just need to be a step ahead of people in class.

  • yousuf

    i want to learn physics

  • Violet

    I love physics.

  • Shinja Okinawa

    I love Physics, there are no jobs, but I still love Physics.

  • Shinja Okinawa

    Yes I do have a Degree in Physics.

  • Godson kollie