About This Course

Learn the physics of how things move with this calculus-based course in Mechanics!  PHYS101x serves as an introduction to mechanics following a standard first semester university physics course.  This course teaches fundamental concepts and mathematical problem solving required for all STEM fields. It serves learners as valuable preparation for the equivalent on-campus course, or as supplementary material.

Part 1 covers translational motion:

  • Kinematics
  • Newton’s Laws of Motion
  • Conservation of Energy
  • Momentum and Collisions

Part 2 continues with rotational motion.

By the end of the course, you’ll learn:

  • Newton’s Laws of Motion
  • Energy and momentum
  • Conservation laws
  • How to apply vector analysis and calculus to solve physics problems

Prerequisites: Secondary school (high school) algebra and trigonometry.  Calculus is needed but can be learned concurrently.

Course Workload

The course includes:

  • 5 weekly Learning Sequences, each with about 1.5 hours of lecture material and conceptual questions.
  • Weekly homework problems with solutions.
  • A final exam


Any questions? Please e-mail RiceOnline@rice.edu.

Course Trailer

Professor Information

Picture of Dr. Jason Hafner

Dr. Jason Hafner

Professor of Physics, Astronomy and Chemistry Rice University Jason Hafner earned his Ph.D. from Rice University in 1998 under Richard Smalley for work on carbon nanotubes, and pursued postdoctoral studies at Harvard University with Charles Lieber. Dr. Hafner is currently

Full Bio