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Mechanics: Momentum and Energy

Learn about momentum and energy in this calculus-based physics course.

start date
6 weeks
10-12 hours/week

About this course

This course is the second of a series of modules that cover calculus-based mechanics. You will learn about the concepts of momentum, impulse, energy, and work, as well as the powerful idea of conservation laws. You will apply these concepts as powerful techniques to solve interesting mechanics problems such as collisions and rockets.

The complete series of modules is based on the MIT subject 8.01: Physics I, required of all MIT undergraduates. The modules are:

To understand the material in this course you should have taken Mechanics: Kinematics and Dynamics. Linked above.

The course image is a fire truck on top of the MIT dome. Image taken by Sarahjane10784

What you’ll learn

  • Momentum and Impulse
  • Continuous Mass Flow
  • Work and Kinetic Energy
  • Potential Energy and Mechanical Energy
  • Collisions


High school physics, Calculus (on edX: Calculus 1A, Calculus 1B and Calculus 1C), kinematics and dynamics (8.01x.1)

Meet your instructors

  • Deepto Chakrabarty

    Professor of Physics and Astrophysics Division Head in the Physics Department at MIT

  • Peter Dourmaskin

    Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physics at MIT

  • Analia Barrantes

    Physics Lecturer at the Experimental Study Group at MIT

  • Saif Rayyan

    Former Assistant Director of Academic Programs at the MIT Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL).

  • Michelle Tomasik

    Lecturer in the Department of Physics at MIT

  • George Stephans

    Senior Research Scientist in the Laboratory for Nuclear Science and a Senior Lecturer in the Physics Department at MIT

Who can take this course?

Because of U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) restrictions and other U.S. federal regulations, learners residing in one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba, Syria, North Korea and the Crimea, Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic regions of Ukraine.