Free Online Quantum Physics Courses

Free online quantum physics courses are offered by numerous accredited colleges and universities. Most courses require previous experience, equivalent to 3+ years in an undergraduate physics program. Read on to find out what courses are available. Schools offering Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Free Online Quantum Physics Courses

Quantum physics, also known as quantum mechanics, is a branch of theoretical physics that focuses on the energy present in the smallest parts of our universe, atoms and subatomic particles. It tries to answer questions that classical physics cannot, and quantum theory has applications for chemistry, computing, and medicine, among others. Many quantum physics courses can be found for free online through an assortment of accredited colleges, universities, and other organizations. Most quantum physics courses are for those with a background in physics, equivalent to an upper-level undergraduate physics major up to a graduate level.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers an astonishingly large number of free online physics courses, including many quantum mechanics courses. Whether you are looking for an undergraduate or graduate level course, you can find one through MIT's OpenCourseWare. All courses require a strong physics background and at least one textbook as outlined in each course's syllabus. The structure of the courses will either be video lectures with a transcript and notes, or simply general lecture notes. Additional content includes exams, problem set assignments, and project assignments, none of which come with solutions. Topics are varied and include the following:

  • Wave mechanics
  • Angular momentum
  • Electron systems
  • Quantum dynamics
  • Composite systems
  • Approximation methods
  • Symmetries
  • Scattering theory

Here are examples of the free online courses you can expect to find:

  • Quantum Physics
  • Quantum Theory
  • Relativistic Quantum Field Theory

Harvard University

This self-paced course from Harvard University offers an overview of quantum mechanics that builds to an application of the concepts through programming and chemistry. The free online course consists of video lectures with transcripts and assignments. Though this advanced course can be taken by undergraduates, you must be comfortable with college-level physics, chemistry, calculus, and programming. A computer is needed to enroll in the course and complete the assignments. Course topics include the following:

  • Wave mechanics and wavefunctions
  • Probability
  • The Schrödinger equation
  • Molecular rotation and phase space
  • Approximation techniques
  • Variation and perturbation

The University of Texas at Austin

A course for upper-level physics undergraduates, this free online offering from The University of Texas at Austin is a great introduction to quantum physics. The course comprises detailed lecture notes along with an index and requires a substantial physics and mathematics background. No special materials are needed for the course. Topics explored in the free online course are the following:

  • Potentials
  • Angular momentum
  • The hydrogen atom
  • Perturbation theory
  • Variation
  • Scattering theory

Annenberg Foundation

Intended for adult learners, this course from the Annenberg Foundation gives an overview of the basics of physics, including a large section about quantum physics. Some experience with the subjects in the course is helpful, but not required. The course is divided into 11 distinct units, each on a different topic and includes video lectures and assigned readings. Some interactive labs are also included which require a computer to complete. The basics of quantum physics are shared in the course, supported by an overview of classical physics topics. These basics include waves, the uncertainty principle, atomic spin, and superconductors, among other topics.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools