PHY111, Physik I HS2020


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

Thursday, 08:00 - 09:45     (Y16-G-15)

Friday, 08:00 - 09:45

Exercise sessions ( PHY111.2 ): Thursday, 13:00 - 14:45    (First : 24th September 2020)


Senior assistants

Course information sheet

References & texts

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.

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 Wednesday, and will be due the following Wednesday at 18:00. Your teacher assistant (TA) will let you know how to submit your exercises. If you do not turn in your exercises by the deadline, you will not receive credit. 

The first exercise sheet will be assigned on September 17th, and should be submitted to the TA on Feb. 23rd.   The solutions to the first exercise sheet will be presented on Sept. 24th.  

Outline of course

  1. 1-D, 2-D motion. 
  2. Energy & momentum conservation. 
  3. Linear and rotational systems.
  4. Fluid dynamics.


Your grade is based on the following assessments : 


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.  To prepare for the exam, you should know how to do the derivations and exercises done in lecture, you should be able to solve any of your weekly exercises, and you should practice doing similar exercises from textbooks without assistance.  Practice makes perfect.  You can learn to be a good physicist ... if you want it !

Exam schedule

The final exam schedule is located hier

Mid-term exam :  Thursday, 29. October 2020, 13:00-14:45 in assigned exercise session.

Final exam :   Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 14:00-16:00, Hörsaal 30

Exam guidelines  :

Exams will be similar in style to the weekly exercises.  A formula sheet with needed equations will be provided to you in the exams.  Other needed formulas should be derived from these.  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 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 (besides what we provide)
  • Any additional formula sheets or written notes. 

Lecture information

Script Modification date Material
PHY111-HS2020-Script-Final.v5 (PDF, 4352 KB) Jan. 11, 2021 Final script, v5


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

Week  Material Lecture notes Additional resources

Week 1

Sept. 17/18

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

PHY111-HS2020-Week1_L1 (PDF, 10140 KB)

PHY111_HS2020_Week1_L2 (PDF, 1828 KB)

See Tipler, Demtröder. 

For help on derivatives, see MHP link above.

Week 2

Sept. 24/25

2-D motion, constant acceleration, circular motion

Newton's three laws

PHY111-HS2020-Week2-L1 (PDF, 1796 KB)

PHY111-HS2020-Week2-L2 (PDF, 1891 KB)

PHY111_HS2020-diagrams-forces (PDF, 235 KB)

Week 3

Oct. 1/2

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

PHY111-HS2020-Week3-L1 (PDF, 2041 KB)

PHY1111-HS2020-Week3-L2 (PDF, 2839 KB)


Week 4

Oct. 8/9

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

PHY111-HS2020-Week4-L1 (PDF, 1984 KB)

PHY111-HS2020-Week4-L2 (PDF, 2644 KB)


Week 5

Oct. 15/16

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

PHY111-HS2020-Week5-L1 (PDF, 2015 KB)

PHY111-HS2020-Week5-L2 (PDF, 2406 KB)


Week 6

Oct. 22/23

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

PHY111-HS2020-Week6-L1 (PDF, 1980 KB)

PHY111-HS2020-Week6-L2 (PDF, 2353 KB)

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

Week 7

Oct. 29/30

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

PHY111-HS2020-Week7-L1 (PDF, 2934 KB)

PHY111-HS2020-Week7-L2 (PDF, 1927 KB)


Week 8

Nov. 5/6

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

PHY111-HS2020-Week8-L1 (PDF, 2588 KB)

PHY111-HS2020-Week8-L2 (PDF, 2407 KB)

Coriolis-centrifugal (PPTX, 15729 KB)

Coriolis-centrifugal (KEY, 16801 KB)

Week 9

Nov. 12/13

fluids, Bernoulli's equation, Venturi effect, centrifuge

PHY111-HS2020-Week9-L1 (PDF, 2045 KB)

PHY111-HS2020-Week9-L2 (PDF, 1980 KB)


Week 10

Nov. 19/20

adhesive/cohesive forces, laminar flow, viscosity, 


waves : wave propagation, standing waves

PHY111-HS2020-Week10-L1 (PDF, 2196 KB)

PHY111-HS2020-Week10-L2 (PDF, 2618 KB)


Week 11

Nov. 26/27

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

PHY111-HS2020-Week11-L1 (PDF, 2722 KB)

PHY111-HS2020-Week11-L2 (PDF, 9424 KB)

Pressure-air-standing-sound-wave (GIF, 1678 KB)

Week 12


Finishing waves. 

Doppler effect. Young's modulus in solids.

Complex numbers, simple harmonics with complex functions.

PHY111-HS2020-Week12- L1 (PDF, 3218 KB)

PHY111-HS2020-Week12-L2 (PDF, 2289 KB)


Week 13

Dec. 10/11

fourier series / fourier analysis

PHY111-HS2020-Week13-L1 (PDF, 2571 KB)

PHY111-HS2020-Week13-L2 (PDF, 2851 KB)

Wave_group (GIF, 578 KB)

Week 14

Dec. 17/18

Review session