Online learning has become increasingly popular because it offers several benefits to students and teachers alike. Students can learn anywhere, anytime, and teachers don’t have to deal with the hassle of scheduling and commuting to the classroom every day.

If you’re curious about how the universe works and want to learn how science can unlock its secrets, online physics courses are an excellent way to accomplish this goal.

These online physics courses will give you a strong foundation in physics, even if you have no experience in the subject before beginning the coursework. Here are some of the best online physics courses on the internet today, each offering a valuable experience for anyone looking to dive into physics or simply brush up on their knowledge of this fascinating subject.

#8. Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity (Coursera)

The course gives an in-depth look at the theory, including its development and application to everyday life. This intriguing 8-week course—81 hours total—on how Einstein developed his renowned theory is taught by Larry Randles Lagerstrom, who is an academic director at Stanford University and historian of science.

The course is free and can be shared with friends and colleagues. Also, separate readings and quizzes are available to accompany video lectures. By laying the foundation in both history and theory, the course offers a greater understanding of the theory of relativity. You’ll discover many things, including how mass affects space and time, and how moving at high speeds causes time dilation. You’ll also look at the relationship between time dilation and how mass increases for objects when they approach the speed of light.

#7. Fundamental Lessons from String Theory (Harvard University)

String theory, which is a branch of theoretical physics that was developed in the 1970s and 1980s, has been one of the fascinating areas of research in modern science.

In this free course, you will learn how string theory and its associated ideas have revolutionized our understanding of space. This course is for you if you’re seeking quick instruction from acclaimed string theorist, Cumrun Vafa.

Videos that expertly dissect the foundations of string theory are typically only 10 to 15 minutes long. You can access summaries that are concise and to the point, office hours where Vafa answers specific questions in recorded videos, and, last but not least, a discussion section where you can talk with other physics students.

#6. Physics: Intro to Electricity & Magnetism (Udemy)

This introductory course to electricity and magnetism is a great place to start if you want to learn more about the fundamentals of physics. Students who wish to improve their marks, ace tests, or comprehend a concept that has been challenging to grasp in class can use this short and simple class.

This course will give you a solid grounding in the concepts behind electromagnetism, including how electric charges interact with each other and how magnetic fields are generated. You’ll also learn about Ohm’s law, which describes how voltage and current are related, as well as Faraday’s law, which describes the relationship between magnetic fields and electric currents. Finally, this course will introduce you to Maxwell’s equations, which describe how EM waves propagate through space.

This course is also designed for physics instructors who want to introduce their students to physics differently. It may easily fit into any schedule and is totally free. However, you’ll need to enroll in their premium programs if you want to access more of this creator’s content.

#5. Astrophysics: The Violent Universe (edX)

Astrophysics: The Violent Universe is a great online physics course that covers the basics of astrophysics and how it applies to our world.

In this free course, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the diverse universe we live in, from the formation of stars to black holes and white dwarfs. You’ll study subjects like astrophysics and cosmology and how they relate to one another. You’ll learn about everything from neutral hydrogen to quarks, neutrinos, and dark matter.

This online course is perfect for anyone who wants to understand how galaxies form and how black holes affect them. It’s also great for students who wish to pursue careers in astrophysics or cosmology—or want to better understand the universe around us. To get the most out of this course, you need to have a good understanding of math and physics from high school.

Like many of the other online courses we list here, this course is free.

Nebula and galaxies universe physics quantum
Whether you’re a student, professional, or just have an interest in the subject, these online physics courses are great to further your knowledge!

#4. How Things Work: An Introduction to Physics (Louis A. Bloomfield)

How Things Work: An Introduction to Physics is a great place to start if you’re new to physics.

It’s an introduction to the field that will give you a good foundation in what you need to know before moving on to more advanced courses. The instructor, Dr. Louis Bloomfield, is entertaining and engaging as he gives examples and humorous anecdotes about basic physics concepts.

This free course begins with an overview of what physics is and how it works, then delves into the concepts of forces and motion before moving on to more complex topics like electricity, magnetism, nuclear energy, and more. You can also unlock a quiz to get a certificate at the end of the course (although you have to pay for this feature).

#3. Fundamentals of Physics I (Yale University)

Fundamentals of Physics I is a great free online course for anyone who wants to get up to speed on the basics of physics. If you’re looking for an online physics course that can help you brush up on your knowledge, then look no further than Fundamentals of Physics I. This course will help you understand the fundamentals of physics so that you can learn just how our universe works.

You’ll learn about Newton’s Laws of Motion, heat transfer and conservation of energy, friction and lubrication, momentum and velocity, and more. It’s designed to be easy to follow and understand but still gives you enough information that you can actually use your newfound knowledge in the real world.

#2. Physics 100: Mastering Newton’s Laws of Motion (Udemy)

If you want a broad overview of Newton’s laws, this course is perfect for you!

The course will teach you the basics of physics and how they relate to the real world. You’ll learn about gravity, momentum, force, free-body diagrams, pulleys and springs, and circular motion problems.

This course is free and is taught by Dr. Eric Meloche, an experienced professor who has been teaching for over 15 years and has taught at some of the most prestigious universities across the world. He is an expert in his field, and his lectures are always engaging and entertaining!

#1 Quantum Physics I (MIT Open CourseWare)

This course is designed to give you a solid understanding of the concepts and techniques used in the study of quantum physics, including the wave-particle duality, quantum mechanics, Heisenberg uncertainty principle, Schrödinger’s equation, and other important concepts. The course is free and available for both graduate and undergrad levels.

The video lectures come with downloadable PDFs of the course notes. There are assignments and exams you can take to see how well you understand what you’ve learned. This course has a prerequisite class; so, it may not be suitable for everyone. However, we encourage you to examine the content for yourself and determine whether it is a suitable fit for what you’re searching for.

Bottom Line

These online physics classes offer a wealth of valuable information for students and professionals in the field. Many of these courses are available completely free, so anyone with a basic understanding of high school-level math can enroll. Some colleges may also accept a passing grade on one of these courses as fulfilling an elective requirement or even a general education credit.

The 8 Best Online Physics Courses Today FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How do I sign up for an online physics class?

Most online courses require learners to register to access the course’s learning materials. To do this, open the website of your chosen course and follow the given process to sign up.

If the course is free, you can begin learning right away. However, for premium courses, you’ll need to pay to access the course content.

Are these courses free?

There are various free physics courses available online right now. The courses are taught by lecturers with impressive credentials such as Nobel Prizes and field-defining achievements.

Some of the best free online physics courses include Quantum Physics I, Physics 100: Mastering Newton’s Laws of Motion, Fundamentals of Physics I, How Things Work: An Introduction to Physics, Astrophysics: The Violent Universe, Physics: Intro to Electricity & Magnetism, Fundamental Lessons from String Theory, and Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity.

How long is an online physics course?

The time to complete each online course ranges. While some take longer, some can be finished in as little as five weeks. Online courses, particularly those provided by colleges, typically last eight to nine weeks.

What do I need to join an online physics course?

Because physics and mathematics are intertwined, you must have a strong foundation in algebra 1 and algebra 2, as well as a thorough understanding of problem-solving techniques to do well in physics.

What does a physics course consist of?

Typically, physics students begin their studies with an introductory course covering Newton’s equations of motion, kinematics, and rotational motion. The study of physics requires a solid foundation in mathematics, and students should anticipate taking courses in advanced math like calculus.

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