May The Force Be With You: Physics for the Ages

Course Description

Viewing Physics from a Force-centric point of view is quite intriguing yet comprehensive. In this course, we develop a conceptual foundation of Newtonian Physics, which illuminates the properties of Forces. This methodology is distinct from typical course content where widely different Physics topics often repeat similar patterns.

After developing an understanding of Force, we try to develop a systematic yet simple mathematical modeling approach to Force, which leads to an understanding of a wide range of Physics applications. In this approach, the simplest model of Force is no force, which leads to an understanding of equilibrium. The next simplest model is a constant Force, which leads to an understanding of kinematic equations and free-fall motion, including projectile motion. This is followed by the model of linear restoring Force, which corresponds to an understanding of springs, pendulum, and molecular vibrations as well. Thereafter, we look at the inverse square Force, which explains gravity, electricity, magnetism, and atomic structure. We will also provide a conceptual understanding of why these few models are useful in describing Physics. The historical perspectives from Aristotle to Newton are also briefly discussed in this course, explaining the discontinuous progress of Physics in the western world.

By the end of this course, you will understand the following:
• Force-centric approach to understanding a wide range of Physics concepts
• Simple mathematical modeling to understand Physics and understanding similar patterns in widely different Physics applications
• Conceptual formulation in Physics problem solving rather than focusing on mathematical manipulation
• Systemic approach and recognizing patterns to the understanding of Physics
• Understanding the historical perspective in the development of Physics

This course is designed for students seeking a conceptual understanding of Physics. The introductory course is designed in a novel way, focusing on understanding Forces, and modeling simple mathematical patterns in wide-ranging applications. You can utilize the foundations, modeling, and problem-solving methods learned in this course towards more in-depth Physics courses, which may use the same concepts while requiring more in-depth Physics knowledge and mathematical complexities.


Basic Algebra background from High School is required. A prior Physics background is not necessary. Simple geometry concepts, as needed, will be introduced in the course.


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: July 11, 2022 - July 15, 2022
Duration: 1 Weeks
Meeting Times: M-F 3:30P-6:20P
Status: Closed
Format: On-Campus
Instructor(s): Santanu Banerjee
Course Number: 10100