Physics self help

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Resources for physics students

Math Review Worksheets

These are low-tech, pre-computer, self-study tutorials. Print out the PDF files. Then you read the stuff in the boxes, answer the questions and turn the page to check the answer. Work the top row of all the pages and then the second row etc.

(These are provided with the permission of the author, H.R. Crane, Univ. of Michigan.)

Problems and techniques for solving them

Interactive Kinematics Problem

More interactive problems from the University of Illinois (recommended)

SmartPhysics Examples From the University of Illinois. E&M and Optics

Physics Tutorials from the University of Guelph

Problem-solving Tutorials from University of Pittsburg

Lectures and explanations

Physics Limericks from Harvard

Worked E&M examples Good for Phys141 and Phys121

Fear of Physics Site Fear not! Physics is Explained

Bob Miller's Light Walk Exploratorium classic about light and simple optics.

MIT Physics OpenCourseware At the beginning level (Physics 100)

Mechanics Lectures First-year OpenCourseware from Mit, Prof. W. Lewin. Also contains sample assignments, exams and solutions. (recommended but currently down) Try the waybackmachine

Electricity & Magnetism Lectures First-year OpenCourseware from MIT, Prof. W Lewin. Also contains sample assignments, exams and solutions. (recommended but currently down. Try the waybackmachine)

Lewin Lectures The Lewin Lectures on Youtube, Also with help sessions

MIT TEAL course in E & M A Studio Course as taught at MIT

The Physics Classroom Tutorials, animations,questions, exercises at the Physics 100 level

Oscilloscope tutorial Video :)

Particle Adventure the universe explained by cartoons.

All MIT open courseware in Physics


Open Content Textbooks

There are a number physics textbooks on the Wikibooks site. Many of them are not useful because of lack of content, lack of examples or mistakes and misconceptions by the authors. The wikibooks:FHSST_Physics (High School Students Studying Physics) may be the best of the lot right now.

Physics for the Enquiring Mind by Eric M. Rogers — Inspiring book for a course in physics for non-specialists at Princeton. Though intended for non-science majors, it is not dumbed down.

OpenStax College Physics At the level of 101/102

The Feynman Lectures on Physics Volume 1 so far

Practice Exams

University of Illinois has on-line computer-scored multiple choice practice exams for its courses.

The links to these practise multiple-choice exams change every year. However, if you go to the UIUC Physics Course listing physics course listings look for Practice Exams on the course web page you will probably find them..

MIT Physics open courseware provides essay-type exam problems for practice, with solutions.


  • Coulomb's Law Manic physics professor Eric Rogers explains the Law. Directed by Richard Leacock, cameo appearance of Elspeth Leacock.


The emphasis here is on free stuff.

  • Vernier Logger Lite (free). LoggerPro Linux (free), LoggerPro Win/Mac (30-day demo)
  • Tracker Video Analysis sytem free, Java-Mac/Win/Linux
  • Open Source Phyics Simulations, Modelling, Curriculum. Tools etc.
  • PhysMo Open Source Video Analysis, Java-Mac/Win/Linux, free
  • Physlets Java applications for simulation and animation, customizable
  • PhET Browser-based java and flash simulations
  • Maxima Computer Algebra System, Macsyma was a rival of Mathematica and Maple but never successfully commercialized. Maxima is an open-sourced version.
  • gnuplot Grand-old data-plotting package that never fails, but may give a headache.
  • LibreOffice Version of OpenOffice, an alternative to MS Office
  • Latex The place to go to get Latex
    • WriteLatex Online Collaborative Latex system. Immediate rendering and has templates for papers and presentations,
  • Python A good programming language. has complex numbers and numerical packages, eg numpy, matplotlib
  • Octave Matlab clone, open source
  • SciLab Another MatLab-type package, but free and open source Comments on Octave_vs_SciLab
  • ImageJ The most comprehensive and best-supported (free) image analysis software.
  • Drawing
  • Old School

Classroom Response Systems

There are some inexpensive systems that use wifi and the internet to reproduce some of the functionality of the iClicker systems