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This course provides a thorough introduction to the principles and methods of physics for students who have good preparation in physics and mathematics. Emphasis is placed on problem solving and quantitative reasoning. This course covers Newtonian mechanics, special relativity, gravitation, thermodynamics, and waves.

18 hours of lectures

24 lectures

15 Reading assingments, 12 problem sets with solutions. Two sample exams and Two exams from which mid term with solutions (solutions to final exam are not available)

Course books


Ramamurti Shankar is John Randolph Huffman Professor of Physics at Yale. He received his B. Tech in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras and his Ph.D. in theoretical particle physics from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the Yale faculty in 1977 after three years at the Harvard Society of Fellows. He is dedicated to teaching and has published two texts: Principles of Quantum Mechanics and Basic Training in Mathematics: A Fitness Program for Science Students. His website has further details and a link to jokes collected by his students from Physics 200-201.


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PHYS 200: FUNDAMENTALS OF PHYSICS I by Ramamurti Shankar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.Based on a work at

Course content

  • Lecture 1 - Course Introduction and Newtonian Mechanics

  • Lecture 2 - Vectors in Multiple Dimensions

  • Lecture 3 - Newton's Laws of Motion

  • Lecture 4 - Newton's Laws (cont.) and Inclined Planes

  • Lecture 5 - Work-Energy Theorem and Law of Conservation of Energy

  • Lecture 6 - Law of Conservation of Energy in Higher Dimensions

  • Lecture 7 - Kepler's Laws

  • Lecture 8 - Dynamics of a Multiple-Body System and Law of Conservation of Momentum

  • Lecture 9 - Rotations, Part I: Dynamics of Rigid Bodies

  • Lecture 10 - Rotations, Part II: Parallel Axis Theorem

  • Lecture 11 - Torque

  • Exam 1 - Midterm Exam

  • Lecture 12 - Introduction to Relativity

  • Lecture 13 - Lorentz Transformation

  • Lecture 14 - Introduction to the Four-Vector

  • Lecture 15 - Four-Vector in Relativity

  • Lecture 16 - The Taylor Series and Other Mathematical Concepts

  • Lecture 17 - Simple Harmonic Motion

  • Lecture 18 - Simple Harmonic Motion (cont.) and Introduction to Waves

  • Lecture 19 - Waves

  • Lecture 20 - Fluid Dynamics and Statics and Bernoulli's Equation

  • Lecture 21 - Thermodynamics

  • Lecture 22 - The Boltzmann Constant and First Law of Thermodynamics

  • Lecture 23 - The Second Law of Thermodynamics and Carnot's Engine

  • Lecture 24 - The Second Law of Thermodynamics (cont.) and Entropy

  • Exam 2 - Final Exam

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