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École Polytechnique expands its range of online courses

Having just released a series of five mini-MOOCs for mathematics, l'X continues to enrich its selection of online courses with four more new MOOCs. These classes are intended for future Bachelor’s students and young students.

> Photovoltaic Solar Energy

The goal of this class is to present the different uses for solar energy and tackle environmental and social impact in the face of competing energy sources. Taught through English, the course provides an introduction to photovoltaic applications in the energy mix. This MOOC also takes the opportunity to present the rapid evolution of the economy and financing in the field of photovoltaics with key players of the sector. It is intended for beginner-level students.

The class is due to begin on January 29 via the Coursera platform.

> Plastic Electronics

First appearing at the beginning of the 20th century, electronic devices (radios, televisions, computers, cellphones, and various other everyday instruments) are ubiquitous in our modern world. The vast majority of these objects rely on one mineral element: silicon. In the 80s, it was discovered that silicon could be replaced by organic materials, from which plastics are made, another essential material used in our daily lives. This paved the way for new types of components. The best example of plastic electronics is undoubtedly the organic light-emitting diode (OLED), used in the display screens of many smartphones and even televisions. The objective of this course is thus to provide a comprehensive overview of the physical and technological principles surrounding electronic devices. Plastic Electronics is intended for intermediate-level students.

The class is due to begin on January 29 via the Coursera platform.

> Journeying through the Infinitely Big and Infinitely Small (Voyages de l'infiniment grand à l'infiniment petit)

This series of four MOOCs taught through French is intended for science-stream high school students, their teachers, students studying for a licence in Physics, and more generally, anyone interested in the subject known at l’X as "physics of the two infinities". The class explores two cutting-edge fields in science, which could not be farther apart in terms of distance, but in which several points of convergence have been brought to light after almost a century of study. On one hand, we have elementary particles and their interactions, that is, the most fundamental structure of matter known to date; on the other, the study of the Universe in its totality, its makeup, its evolution and so forth. This class was born of a collaboration among the "Laboratory of Excellence" known as P2IO (Physics of the 2 Infinities and their Origins), École Polytechnique, CNRS, CEA and University of Paris-Sud. This MOOC, developed by scientists working in close relation with teachers, is based on ideas from conventional physics taught at high-school level and expected for entry into a degree program in physics, particularly for the study of conventional mechanics and electromagnetism.

The class is due to begin on February 12 via the Coursera platform.

> Quantum mechanics

A number of experiments carried out at the beginning of the 20th century demonstrated that the laws of Newtonian mechanics may not be applied on an extremely small scale, like that of atoms, molecules or indeed nuclei. Thus, quantum mechanics allowed for the creation of most types of modern technology, such as microelectronics, lasers or optic telecommunications. This MOOC offers an introduction to quantum mechanics through an historical approach, while also examining the confrontation between the experimental and the theoretical. The class is taught in French and is intended for Bachelor’s-level students, students who are taking a foundation year (classe préparatoire), or students from engineering schools. In order to take this class, an understanding of basic notions of probability, linear analysis (derivation and integration) and wave physics is required.

The class is due to begin on February 26 via the Coursera platform.