Electricity and Magnetism Part 1

  • Course StartSelf-Paced
  • Course Duration7 weeks
  • Workload8-10 hours per week
  • Credit OfferedCertificate Available
  • Tuition$49

Learn about electricity and magnetism following the standard second semester college physics sequence.

Course Description

Electricity and Magnetism, or PHYS102.1x, serves as an introduction to electricity and magnetism following the standard second semester college physics sequence. It begins with electric charge in matter, the forces between charges, the electric field, Gauss’s Law, and the electric potential. Electric current and resistance are introduced, and then the course moves to the magnetic field, Ampere’s Law, and induction. PHYS102x consists of  around 5 weekly learning sequences, each with ~1.5 hours of video lectures, conceptual lecture problems, and online homework questions. The course concludes with an online exam during the 6th week.


What textbook is required?
The course will not follow or make assignments from a specific textbook. Any relatively recent freshman physics textbook should suffice. We will suggest reading assignments based on topics. Contact us if you have a question about a specific textbook.

Is the class free?
Yes, although you are strongly encouraged to acquire a freshman physics textbook. You will also need a calculator capable of calculating exponents and trigonometric functions. You also have the option to add an edX Verified Certificate for $25.

Does the course cover circuits?
No. In order to reduce the length of the class from a full semester, we only cover electric and magnetic fields. We will discuss current, as needed for magnetic fields, and resistance.

Course Trailer


We will assume that you are familiar with vectors, that you know how to calculate integrals, and that you have had introductory mechanics. These topics will be briefly reviewed as needed, but not in a systematic way. If you have not had classes in these topics it may be possible to complete the course with extra study.

Lecture Samples


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

Professor Information

Picture of Dr. Jason Hafner

Dr. Jason Hafner

Professor of Physics, Astronomy and Chemistry Rice University Jason Hafner earned his PhD 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 a Professor of Physics and Astronomy and of Chemistry at Rice, as well as an […]

Full Bio