How Stuff Moves, Part 1: Linear Motion  Harvey Mudd College
edX
Online
Free
Important information
 Course
 Online
 When:
Flexible
A Calculusbased introduction to Newtonian mechanics that emphasizes problemsolving. With an apprenticeship you earn while you learn, you gain recognized qualifications, job specific skills and knowledge and this helps you stand out in the job market.With this course you earn while you learn, you gain recognized qualifications, job specific skills and knowledge and this helps you stand out in the job market.
Requirements: A course in Calculus (can be taken concurrently with this course).
VenuesWhere and when
Starts  Location 

Flexible 
Online

What you'll learn on the course
Mechanics  Calculus  Physics  Energy  
Newton 
Course programme
WHAT IS “HOW STUFF MOVES”? Mechanics is the study of how things move. It was the first quantitative science to achieve wide power to predict behavior, including things never before directly observed. Newton, Leibniz, and others invented calculus to describe motion and we will find both differential and integral calculus extremely useful throughout this course. This is the first in a 3part series of courses that parallels the secondsemester mechanics course taught at Harvey Mudd College. Part 1 explores the concepts of momentum, force, and energy, and how these properties define the motion of objects at everyday speeds. Part 2 examines angular motion, and Part 3 examines wave motion. This course is an invitation to develop your problemsolving skills and to learn how to apply mathematics to all sorts of problems of the physical world. Learning the rules that govern how stuff moves in the world around us is exciting; using those rules to predict correctly something that you haven’t observed means that you really understand something. It‘s a great feeling. WHAT SHOULD I KNOW BEFORE WE START? You need not have taken physics before, but we assume that you have studied mathematics, up to and including a first course in calculus. You may be taking a calculus course concurrently with this course; that should be a good strategy. We will introduce important calculus ideas and methods as the need arises and provide examples. There is a Mathematics Diagnostic Test that you can take at the beginning of this course to ensure that your mathematics background will set you up for success in this course.
What you'll learn
What you'll learn
 The basic physics of how objects move
 The concepts of momentum, force, and energy
 How these properties define the motion of objects at everyday speeds
Additional information
Peter Saeta Peter Saeta is a professor of physics at Harvey Mudd College. Saeta researches the limits to absorption enhancement in thinfilm solar cells from plasmonics. He has investigated the disordering of semiconductors excited by intense femtosecond laser pulses; the generation and applications of subpicosecond pulses of farinfrared light; the profiling of optical fiber cores using optical scattering techniques; and the luminescence properties of silicon nanostructures. Before coming to Harvey Mudd, Saeta was a research fellow at AT&T Bell labs and the National Research Council. Elizabeth Connolly Elizabeth Connolly is a visiting professor of physics at Harvey Mudd College. Elizabeth’s research interests include cavity quantum electrodynamics and soft matter physics.