First Year Subjects

Professor Joseph Formaggio's office hours.
Professor Joseph Formaggio's office hours.

The Department of Physics provides various options for fulfilling the General Institute Requirements (GIRs) of Physics I and Physics II.

Physics I introduces classical mechanics: space and time; kinematics; Newton's Laws; particle dynamics; collisions and conservation laws; work and potential energy; universal gravitation; rigid bodies, equilibrium, and rotational dynamics.

  • 8.01 presents the material using the TEAL format.
  • 8.012* is taught at a mathematically more advanced level and is intended for students with a strong background in physics and math.
  • 8.01L* is a longer version of 8.01 which is offered in the fall and continuing into January, allowing students with less preparation more time to develop their problem solving skills.
  • *Please note that both 8.01L and 8.012 will have limited enrollment based on the results of the Math Diagnostic for Physics Placement test that will be administered during Orientation.
  • 8.011 will be offered each Spring. It will be taught in small lecture sections which meet three times a week and include a quiz on Fridays.

Physics II introduces electromagnetism and electrostatics: electric charge, Coulomb's law, electric structure of matter; conductors and dielectrics. Concepts of electrostatic field and potential, electrostatic energy. Electric currents, magnetic fields and Ampere's law. Magnetic materials. Time-varying fields and Faraday's law of induction. Basic electric circuits. Electromagnetic waves and Maxwell's equations.

  • 8.02 presents the material using the TEAL format.
  • 8.021 will be offered each Fall. It will be taught in small lecture sections which will meet three times a week and include a quiz on Fridays. This subject is only for students who have previously attempted 8.02 or 8.022. Enrollment is limited and permission of the instructor is required.
  • 8.022 is taught at a mathematically more advanced level and is intended for students with a strong background in physics and math.
  • Calculus is used throughout all of the physics subjects.

Please reference the links on the left toolbar for information regarding advanced standing and transfer credit. Information regarding Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and GCE A-Level Credit can be found on the
Class of 2018
site.