8.03 Physics III: Vibrations and Waves

Fall 2004

Photo of Prof. Lewin in shadow.
This is a picture of Prof. Lewin, taken by Prof. Lewin. It was the "Astronomy Picture of the Day" (APOD) on September 13, 2004. It was also presented to his 8.03 students as a challenge to obtain extra course credit if they were able to explain this phenomenon. On December 7, Prof. Lewin revealed the physics (and demonstrated it) in lecture 22. The solution was also revealed by APOD to the many thousands of people who were puzzled by it and who tried to explain it.

Course Highlights

This course features a full set of lecture videos, as well as assignments, exams, and other course materials.

» Download the complete contents of this course.

Course Description

In addition to the traditional topics of mechanical vibrations and waves, coupled oscillators, and electro-magnetic radiation, students will also learn about musical instruments, red sunsets, glories, coronae, rainbows, haloes, X-ray binaries, neutron stars, black holes and big-bang cosmology.

OpenCourseWare presents another version of 8.03 that features a full set of lecture notes and take-home experiments.

OpenCourseWare also presents Professor Lewin's freshman physics course series  8.01 – Newtonian Mechanics - with a complete set of 35 video lectures from the Fall of 1999 and  8.02 - Electricity and Magnetism - with a complete set of 36 video lectures from the Spring of 2002.

Special Features

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.

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Prof. Walter Lewin

Prof. Wolfgang Ketterle
Prof. Nergis Mavalvala

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week 
1.5 hours / session

Two sessions / week 
1 hour / session