First-Year Academics: Science Core Subjects - Physics
The Physics GIR is fullfilled in one of the following ways:
- Advanced Placement or Advanced Standing Credit for 8.01: Receiving scores of 5 on both Parts 1 and 2 of the Physics C Advanced Placement. Students with AP credit for 8.01 should consider enrolling in 8.012, rather than 8.02. Students with credit for 8.01 who elect to take 8.012 receive 6 units of elective credit.
- Passing the MIT Advanced Standing Exam during Orientation (result will be posted in the student’s online Freshman Advising Folder).
- Taking one of the versions of Physics 1 and 2.
Versions of Physics I (Introduction Classical Mechanics): 8.01, 8.01L, 8.012
Which version of Physics I should your advisee take? This depends on the student’s background and preparation, as well as his/her score on the Math Diagnostic for Physics Placement. The Math Diagnostic for Physics Placement is a paper/pencil diagnostic tool given during Orientation week to evaluate each student’s high school math preparation. Facility in high school math is strongly correlated with success in Physics I. Students solve problems in Algebra, Geometry, Logarithms and Exponentials, Trigonometry and elementary Calculus.
The student does not "pass" or "fail" this diagnostic. Math Dx results are meant to help you and the student make an appropriate placement choice into first-term physics. Student will be recommended for placement in a specific version of Physics I -- 8.01L, 8.01, or 8.012 -- based on the Math Dx score.
Math Dx results will be posted in the on-line Advisor Folder by Wednesday, August 28, with an appropriate recommendation for Physics I.
You and your advisee should pay particular attention to the "Comments and Advice" section.
- 8.01L (L=Longer): For those with little or no exposure to physics with calculus in high school, and/or a student whose performance on the Math Dx is low. Same syllabus as regular 8.01 but finishes during January IAP. Extra weeks used to reinforce basic concepts and to allow students more time to develop problem-solving skills. 8.01L taught using combination of TEAL plus lecture and recitation. Students should also be taking some version of 18.01 Calculus I at the same time. Students with 18.01 AP credit should consider 18.01A/18.02A sequence.
- 8.01 Standard version for majority of freshmen. Taught in TEAL format (Technology– Enhanced Active Learning). 18.01
- 8.012 Theoretical Physics: 8.012 is much more mathematically advanced. For students with very strong backgrounds in physics and math. Advising Note: Entrance strictly limited to students with 8.01 AP credit or appropriate results from Math Diagnostic Concurrent registration in a more advanced Calculus subject than 18.01 (i.e., 18.02 or higher) .
Versions of Physics II (Electricity and Magnetism)
- 8.02 Standard version: For students who have credit for 8.01 and 18.01. Taught in TEAL format (Technology– Enhanced Active Learning). 18.02 or more advanced math class
- 8.022 Physics with Theory: Parallel to 8.02 but more mathematically advanced version for students with strong backgrounds in physics and math. Knowledge of vector calculus assumed. Advising Note: 8.022 in the Fall is not suited to most freshmen. Intended only for mature first-term freshmen with significant background in mathematics and physics and excellent time management skills. Sophisticated presentation of elementary electromagnetic theory. For students who have credit for both 8.01 and 18.01.