PHY111 Physik I HS 2019

General information

Lecturer : Prof. Ben Kilminster
Lectures ( PHY111.1 ):

Thursday, 08:00 - 09:45

Friday, 08:00 - 09:45

Exercises ( PHY111.2 ): Thursday, 13:00 - 14:45    (First : 26th September 2019)


Your grade is based on the following assessments : 

  • 25%  mid-term examination
  • 75%  final examination
  • Weekly exercises (A minimum grade of 50% on the exercises is required to take the final exam. )

Attendance is expected and recorded for exercise sessions.  The mid-term and final examination will be composed of questions similar to those presented in the lectures and the weekly exercises. 



The final exam schedule is located hier

Mid-term exam :  Thursday, 31. October 2019, 13:00-14:45 in assigned exercise session. 

Final exam :   Tuesday, 7. January 2020, 10:00 - 12:00, Hörsaal 30.

Exam guidelines  :

Exams will be similar in style to the weekly exercises (conceptual questions). A formula sheet with all needed equations will be provided to you in the exams.  The formula sheet will be sent to you at least a week before the exam to help you study.  We will provide you with paper and a calculator if needed.  The mid-term exam and final exam will be printed in english and in german.   The mid-term will be based on the first six lectures, and the first five written exercises. 

The following are forbidden in exams : 

  • Any means of communication (mobile phones, smart watches, etc.)
  • Any kind of calculator, laptop, or electronic storage device
  • Any additional formula sheets or written notes. 

Physics help before final exam : 

I will be available for questions on Monday, January 6th, by appointment. 

Weekly exercises

Exercises will be posted on OLAT here.  Please register and log in immediately to see if you can access the course,  If not, check that your UZH email is registered properly. 

Exercises will be assigned every Thursday, and will be due the following Wednesday at 18:00. Your teacher assistant (TA) will let you know where to submit your exercises. 

The first exercise sheet will be assigned on September 19th, and should be submitted to the TA on Sept. 25th.   The solutions to the first exercise sheet will be presented on Sept. 26th.


The following texts can be used as reference.  

  • Paul A. Tipler, Gene Mosca: Physics for scientists and engineers.  
  • Wolfgang Demtröder: Experimentalphysik 1 und 2 (goes into more depth)

Further recommended literature

Additional resources to help with mathematics. 

  • MHP: Mathematische Hilfsmittel (PDF, 587 KB) (in german) derivatives, integrals, series expansions, statistics, vector algebra, coordinate transformations, tensors, ... )
  • C.B. Lang und N. Pucker: Mathematische Methoden der Physik, Spektrum Verlag, Heidelberg und Berlin.

Formelsammlung Mittelschulphysik (PDF, 396 KB) is also useful for usage of basic formulas.


Lecture overview

The following will be regularly updated with lecture notes and topics throughout the course.

Week Material Lecture notes Additional resources

Week 1

Sept. 19/20

Units, derivatives, position, velocity, acceleration, movement due to constant acceleration

PHY111_HS2019-Week1_L1 (PDF, 15334 KB)

PHY111_HS2019_Week1_L2 (PDF, 7000 KB)

See Tipler, Demtröder. 

For help on derivatives, see MHP link above.

Week 2

Sept. 26/27

2-D motion, constant acceleration, circular motion

Newton's three laws

PHY111-HS2019-Week2-L1 (PDF, 7240 KB)

PHY111-HS2019-Week2_L2 (PDF, 5769 KB)


Week 3

Oct. 3/4

Integrals, Work, dot products, potential energy, kinetic energy, energy conservation

PHY111-HS2019-Week3-L1 (PDF, 5082 KB)

PHY111-HS2019-Week3-L2 (PDF, 8388 KB)


Week 4


Power, elastic collisions, inelastic collisions, impulse, center-of-mass motion. Angular acceleration, velocity, motion. Torque, moment of inertia. 

PHY111-HS2019-Week4-L1 (PDF, 5396 KB)

PHY111-HS2019-Week4-L2 (PDF, 8682 KB)


Week 5

Oct. 17/18

rotations, torque, angular momentum, precession, kinetic energy of rotation,  center of mass frame, rolling

PHY111-HS2019-Week5-L1 (PDF, 6769 KB)

PHY111-HS2019-Week5-L2 (PDF, 6762 KB)


Week 6

Oct. 24/25

rolling, rotational equilibrium, simple harmonic oscillators (springs, pendulum, etc.) 

PHY111-HS2019-Week6-L1 (PDF, 6177 KB)

PHY111-HS2019-Week6-L2 (PDF, 6261 KB)


Small-angle-formula-proof (PDF, 2620 KB)

Week 7


simple harmonic oscillators, damped/driven oscillators, inertial & non-inertial reference frames, pseudo forces

PHY111-HS2019-Week7-L1 (PDF, 5144 KB)

PHY111-HS2019-Week7-L2-v2 (PDF, 18955 KB)


Week 8

Nov. 7 / 8

rotating reference frames, coriolis pseudoforce, centrifugal pseudoforce, fluids, pressure

PHY111-HS2019-Week8-L1 (PDF, 5183 KB)

PHY111-HS2019-Week8-L2 (PDF, 7064 KB)

Coriolis-centrifugal (PPTX, 15729 KB)

Coriolis-centrifugal (KEY, 16801 KB)

Week 9

Nov. 14/15

fluids, Bernoulli's equation, Venturi effect, centrifuge

PHY111-HS2019-Week9-L1 (PDF, 10302 KB)

PHY111-HS2019-Week9-L2 (PDF, 5401 KB)


Week 10

Nov. 21/22

adhesive/cohesive forces, laminar flow, viscosity, 


waves : wave propagation, standing waves

PHY111-HS2019-Week10-L1 (PDF, 6700 KB)

PHY111-HS2019-Week10-L2 (PDF, 7024 KB)


Week 11

Nov. 28/29

standing waves, sound waves, speed of sound in a fluid, interference, beats, wave intensity, wave energy density, etc. 

PHY111-HS2019-Week11-L1 (PDF, 5800 KB)

PHY111-HS2019-Week11-L2 (PDF, 11023 KB)

Week 12

Finishing waves. 

Doppler effect. Young's modulus in solids.

Complex numbers, simple harmonics with complex functions.

PHY111-HS2019-Week12-L1 (PDF, 5061 KB)

PHY111-HS2019-Week12-L2 (PDF, 6422 KB)

Week 13 fourier series / fourier analysis

PHY111-HS2019-Week13-L1 (PDF, 7029 KB)

PHY111-HS2019-Week13-L2 (PDF, 9517 KB)

Week 14 Review session