OCW Scholar

Physics I: Classical Mechanics

Photograph of a rocket lifting off.

How do Newton's laws of motion explain how a rocket takes off? (Image courtesy of NASA.)

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Course Description

Physics I is a first-year, first-semester course that provides an introduction to Classical Mechanics. It covers the basic concepts of Newtonian mechanics, fluid mechanics, and kinetic gas theory.

Course Format

This course has been designed for independent study. It includes all of the materials you will need to understand the concepts covered in this subject. The materials in this course include:

  • A complete set of Lecture Videos by renowned MIT Physics Professor Walter Lewin
  • A complete set of detailed Course Notes, replacing the need for a traditional course textbook
  • A complete set of Class Slides, with overviews and illustrations of the concepts and applications of the subject
  • Homework Problems and interactive Concept Tests to gauge your understanding of and progress through the materials
  • Homework Help Videos in which Prof. Lewin takes viewers step-by-step through solving homework problems
  • Selected links to websites with related materials, including videos, simulations, and animations
  • An Online Study Group at OpenStudy where you can connect with other independent learners.

The content has been organized for linear progression through each of the Course Modules, starting with Introduction to Mechanics and concluding with Central Force Motion. It is a self-study course that you can work through at your own pace.

Content Development

Dr. Peter Dourmashkin

Prof. Walter Lewin

Prof. Thomas Greytak

Craig Watkins

Andy Neely

Dr. Sahana Murthy

Prof. David Litster

Matthew Strafuss


About OCW Scholar

OCW Scholar courses are designed specifically for OCW's single largest audience: independent learners. These courses are substantially more complete than typical OCW courses, and include new custom-created content as well as materials repurposed from previously published courses. Learn more about OCW Scholar.