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Electricity and Magnetism: Magnetic Fields and Forces

About this course

Electricity and Magnetism dominate much of the world around us – from the most fundamental processes in nature to cutting edge electronic devices. Electric and magnet fields arise from charged particles. Charged particles also feel forces in electric and magnetic fields. Maxwell’s equations, in addition to describing this behavior, also describes electromagnetic radiation.

In this course, we focus on magnetic fields and forces on charged particles in magnetic fields. We examine different ways of calculating the magnetic field, as well as introducing the ideas of current, resistance and simple direct current (DC) circuits.

This is the second module in a series of three that are based on the MIT course: 8.02, Electricity and Magnetism, a required introductory physics class for all MIT undergraduates, which is being offered as an XSeries. Please visit to learn Introductory Electricity and Magnetism XSeries Program Page for more information and to enroll in all three modules. This introductory Electromagnetism physics course will require the use of calculus.

What you'll learn

  • What constitutes simple DC circuits
  • How charged particles move in magnetic fields
  • What creates magnetic fields
  • How to calculate magnetic field strength and direction
  • How magnetic dipoles work and how to measure them

Course staff

Peter Dourmashkin

Senior Lecturer, Physics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Krishna Rajagopal

Dean for Digital Learning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Kerstin Perez

Assistant Professor of Physics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Analia Barrantes

Lecturer, Physics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Michelle Tomasik

Lecturer, Physics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Robert Redwin

Professor of Physics and Director of Bates Linear Accelerator Center
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Frequently Asked Questions

What textbook do I need for the course?

We have a purpose-written textbook available in PDF format. You won't need to purchase any textbook.

  1. Course Number:

  2. Classes Start:

  3. Classes End:

  4. Estimated Effort:

    12 hours/week
  5. Length:

    6 weeks
  6. Year Created: