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Open Educational Resources: Physics

This site is designed to introduce OER initiatives, explain creative commons licensing and OER, and to help you get started searching for Open Educational Resources for teaching and learning.


On this page you will find several open Physics textbooks along with supplemental material and a few lecture videos.  

The purpose of these discipline specific pages is to showcase content that might be of interest to faculty who are considering adopting open educational resources for use in their classes. This list of content is by no means exhaustive.  The nature of open educational resources is very collaborative and it is in that spirit that we encourage any comments about the content featured on this page or recommendations of content that are not already listed here. 


Simple Nature  -Benjamin Crowell

This is a calculus-based physics textbook meant for the type of freshman survey course taken by engineering and physical science majors, or for AP Physics C. It uses a nontraditional order of topics, with energy coming before force. For instructors who prefer the traditional sequence, there is a drop-in replacement for ch. 0-4, Mechanics, that covers force before energy.   -Light and Matter

Dr. Bruce Mason of the OU Physics Department has made this one of his optional textbooks in his Physics classes.

This text is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.


Physics  -OpenStax

This introductory, algebra-based, two-semester college physics book is grounded with real-world examples, illustrations, and explanations to help students grasp key, fundamental physics concepts. College Physics can be can be downloaded now by clicking on the "Get this book" button below. This online, fully editable and customizable title includes learning objectives, concept questions, links to labs and simulations, and ample practice opportunities to solve traditional physics application problems.  -Open Stax


Dr. Paul Peter Urone, California State University Sacramento

Dr. Roger Hinrichs, State University of New York, College at Oswego

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported  License.


Motion Mountain  -Dr. Christopher Schiller

This textbook is excellently produced. It is full of images and figures that do a wonderful job of supplementing the text. Its 1800 pages can be viewed online or in the format of six separate PDFs. This text covers topics including mechanics, thermodynamics, relativity, electromagnetism, quantum physics, physics as it applies to biology, technology and astrophysics, and a section on the strand model.


Dr. Christoph Schiller, Universität Stuttgart

This text is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 Germany License.

Open Textbook Collections

Find more Physics textbooks in these collections



Open Textbook Library

The Open Textbook Library is a collection of open textbooks that features reviews written by professors.  A project of the University of Minnesota, The Open Textbook Library provides a review rubric for faculty to use when evaluating textbooks and displays them for the benefit of potential adopters. 

College Open Textbooks

The College Open Textbooks Collaborative, a collection of twenty-nine educational non-profit and for-profit organizations, affiliated with more than 200 colleges, is focused on driving awareness and adoptions of open textbooks to more than 2000 community and other two-year colleges. This includes providing training for instructors adopting open resources, peer reviews of open textbooks, and mentoring online professional networks that support for authors opening their resources, and other services.  -College Open Textbooks

BC Campus Open Ed

The B.C. Open Textbook Project is funded by the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, and BCcampus is tasked with managing it. A goal of the Project is to provide flexible and affordable access to higher education resources in B.C. by making available 40 openly-licensed textbooks. These texts will be available for selection by B.C. faculty, and digital versions of the texts will be free of charge to students. For those who prefer a printed copy, this format will also be available on demand for a low cost. -BC Campus


MERLOT is a collection of online resources curated by a community of faculty, staff, and students of higher education.  This subset of the MERLOT collection features openly licensed textbooks for use by students and faculty.  MERLOT allows its users to rate materials and comment on specific resources.

Supplemental Materials


ComPADRE is a collection of resources that cater to both Physics instructors and learners. It is a platform through which learners and instructors are given the ability to publish and search for high quality resources created for their specific needs.  The comPADRE collections are a specialilzed place that reduces duplication, provides interoperability and facilitates resource sharing. The collections at comPADRE offer document hosting for Physics education related material. It organizes news, events, and forums of the Physics community as well as jobs, research, and opportunity databases.

Dr. Bruce Mason of the OU Physics Department is the Principal Investigator of comPADRE.



PhET  -Univeristy of Colorado Boulder

To help students visually comprehend concepts, PhET simulations animate what is invisible to the eye through the use of graphics and intuitive controls such as click-and-drag manipulation, sliders and radio buttons. In order to further encourage quantitative exploration, the simulations also offer measurement instruments including rulers, stop-watches, voltmeters and thermometers.  -PhET


PhET Team

Most PhET simulations are released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.  Those which are not are licensed under a GNU General Public License.


Physics Classroom 

Physics Classroom is a collection of Physics tutorials that cover all topics typically covered in college level Physics I and Physics II courses.  Newton's laws, vectors, momentum, work and energy, rotational motion, optics, relativity, electricity and magnetism are all represented in the Physics Classroom.  Also featured on the Physics Classroom  are animations of physical phenomena that will help any student to conceptualize physics. 

The content of the Physics Classroom is licensed under copyright and should only be linked to. 


Image Bank  -Symmetry Magazine

This image bank is home to many diagrams and illustrations that might be useful when teaching particle physics as well as many images related to the field and study of particle physics.

Images from the symmetry image bank may be downloaded, reproduced and published free of charge for use in presentations, reports, educational materials and websites, newspapers, online news sites and other not-for-profit educational outlets... A credit line that recognizes "symmetry magazine" must accompany each published image.


Lecture Videos

Physics Lectures  -MIT

MIT offers a host of course lectures on various topics in Physics. Physics I: Classical Mechanics, Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism, Optics, and Nuclear physics are all available in video lecture format. 


Use of the MIT OpenCourseWare site and materials is subject to their Creative Commons License and other terms of use.




Physics I & Physics II Lectures  -Yale

These lectures cover Newtonian mechanics, special relativity, gravitation, thermodynamics, waves, electricity, magnetism, optics, and quantum mechanics. 


Ramamurti Shankar, Yale University, Physics

Lectures and course material within Open Yale Courses are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License.


Physics  -Khan Academy

Video lectures covering topics seen in a first and second year college Physics course including one and two dimensional motion, work and energy, gravitation, thermodynamics, and electricity and magnetism.

The use of Khan Academy and materials is subject to their Creative Commons License and other terms of use.