Electricity and Magnetism: Magnetic Fields and Forces

Learn how charges create and move in magnetic fields and how to analyze simple DC circuits in this introductory-level physics course.

Electricity and Magnetism: Magnetic Fields and Forces

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Estimated 8 weeks
11–13 hours per week
Self-paced
Progress at your own speed

About this course

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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.

At a glance

  • Institution: MITx
  • Subject: Physics
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Prerequisites:
    • Knowledge of Classical Mechanics (at the level of 8.01x Mechanics Series) will be necessary.
    • 8.02.1x Electricity and Magnetism: Electrostatics
    • Multivariable Calculus

What you'll learn

Skip 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

About the instructors

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners from one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.