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Experimental Physics 1 (Mechanics)

Module PH0001 [ExPh 1]

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of WS 2021/2 (current)

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
WS 2021/2WS 2020/1WS 2019/20WS 2018/9WS 2017/8WS 2014/5WS 2012/3WS 2008/9

Basic Information

PH0001 is a semester module in German language at Bachelor’s level which is offered in winter semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Fundamentals Examination (GOP, Part 1) in the B.Sc. Physics
  • Physics Modules for Students of Education

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
270 h 150 h 9 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH0001 is Christian Back.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


Experimental Physics:

  • Introduction
  • Accuracy of measurement and uncertainty in measurement
  • Mechanics of point masses
  • Mechanical oscillations
  • Systems of point masses
  • Dynamics of rigid bodies
  • Mechanics of rigid and fluid bodies
  • Gases
  • Hydro- and Aerodynamics
  • Mechanical waves

Mathematical Supplement:

  • complex numbers, exponential function
  • applied calculus (differentiation, integration)
  • differential equations
  • multi-variate functions, partial differentiation

Learning Outcome

After successful completion of the module the student should:

  1. know the general basics regarding methodology and measuring procedures in physics,
  2. apply the relevant laws to the motion of point masses,
  3. calculate mechanical oscillations,
  4. deal with systems of several point masses,
  5. calculate the dynamics of rigid bodies,
  6. know the mechanical properties of rigid and fluid bodies as well as gases, and estimate their behavior in fluid dynamics, and
  7. know the basics of mechanical waves.

They have knowledge of fundamental mathematical methods and may

  1. calculate and interpret derivatives of multi-variate functions,
  2. calculate typical integrals applicable in Physics in one and more dimensions, and
  3. solve simple ordinary differential equations.



Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VO 2 Experimental Physics 1 in English Suyu, S. Thu, 12:00–14:00, PH HS1
VO 4 Experimental Physics 1 Back, C. Tue, 08:30–10:00, MI HS1
Fri, 10:00–12:00, MI HS1
VO 2 Mathematical Supplement to Experimental Physics 1 Höffer von Loewenfeld, P. Wed, 12:00–14:00, PH HS1
and singular or moved dates
UE 2 Open Tutorial to Experimental Physics 1 Höffer von Loewenfeld, P. Maier, T.
Responsible/Coordination: Back, C.
Tue, 12:00–14:00, ZEI 0001
Tue, 12:00–14:00, MW 1550
and singular or moved dates
and dates in groups
UE 2 Exercise to Experimental Physics 1 Maier, T.
Responsible/Coordination: Back, C.
dates in groups current

Learning and Teaching Methods

In the lecture "Experimental Physics 1" the learning content is presented via ex-cathedra teaching using instructive examples and showing demonstration experiments. The students are encouraged to engage in scientific discussions, to revisit the learning content themselves and to work through the textbooks mentioned in the section "Literature".

The open tutorial provides the opportunity for solving problems based on the learning content of the lecture for oneself or as a group. The open tutorial is overseen by different tutors an leaves room for further discussions and exchange with other students. Problem solving strategies are presented and the students are asked to revisit the learning content relevant for the specific problem set and to apply these problem solving strategies.

The tutorial is held in small groups. The students are asked to work out the solutions to the weekly problem sets themselves at home before coming to the tutorial. In this way the students can control and deepen their understanding of the methods and concepts presented in the lecture. During the tutorial solutions to the weekly problem set are presented by the students and the tutor. The tutorial provides room for discussions and additional explanations to the lectures, prepares for the problems of the exam and rehearses the specific competencies.

The contents of the the lecture "Mathematical supplements" are strongly oriented on the needs of the students. A combination of concepts and specific applications is presented. These learning contents are either not covered by the mathematics modules or are needed in the physics module before they are addressed by the mathematics modules.

The lecture "Experimental Physics 1 in English" is optional. Some of the learning contents of the much more comprehensive mandatory physics lecture "Experimental Physics 1" (held in German language) are briefly revisited in this lecture. The lecture "Experimental Physics 1 in English" puts a slightly different focus than the mandatory physics lecture and provides the opportunity to come in contact with the profession-specific English jargon.

The different teaching formats are closely intertwined and the lecturers are in constant exchange.


Blackboard or presentation
Demonstation experiments (explanations as downloads)
Example videos (as downloads)
Lecture notes as download
Exercises with solutions as download


W. Demtröder, Experimentalphysik 1: Mechanik und Wärme, Springer Verlag,
D. Meschede, Gerthsen Physik, Springer Verlag,
Bergmann-Schaefer, Lehrbuch der Experimentalphysik 1: Mechanik, Akustik, Wärme, de Gruyter,
Tipler, Physik, Spektrum

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be a written exam of 120 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using calculation problems and comprehension questions.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • Determine the total moment of force acting on a given construction.
  • Determine the point of detachment for a point mass sliding down a sphere.
  • Calculate the deflection angle of a perpendicular within an aeroplane due to the Coriolis force.
  • Integrate the moment of inertia of a solid for a given axis.

Participation in the exercise classes is strongly recommended since the exercises prepare for the problems of the exam and rehearse the specific competencies.

There will be a bonus (one intermediate stepping of "0,3" to the better grade) on passed module exams (4,3 is not upgraded to 4,0). The bonus is applicable to the exam period directly following the lecture period (not to the exam repetition) and subject to the condition that the student passes the mid-term of

  • passing the two voluntary test exams during the semester
  • sensibly preparing at least 50% of the problems for presentation in the tutorials

General Remarks on Exams within Fundamentals Examination (GOP, Part 1) in the B.Sc. Physics

The written exams in the mandatory modules of the first year in the Bachelor’s program Physics are subject to the rules of the Fundamentals Examination (GOP). Each non-passed exam may only be repeated once. If after the repeat exams of one semester the student failed in one and only one of the three exams a rescue exam is granted where the grade may be corrected to 4,0.

By act of the examination regulations (FPSO) students in the Bachelor’s program Physics are registered to the module exams. To support exam organisation egular registration via TUMonline is done anyway. For students that do not show up at the exam the exam is counted as failed.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

Current exam dates

Currently TUMonline lists the following exam dates. In addition to the general information above please refer to the current information given during the course.

Exam to Experimental Physics 1
Wed, 2024-02-14, 10:30 till 12:30 004
Prüfung ist Teil der Grundlagen- und Orientierungsprüfung im Bachelorstudiengang Physik. // Exam is part of the Fundamentals and Orientation Examination (GOP) in the B.Sc. Physics. till 2024-01-15 (cancelation of registration till 2024-02-07)
Thu, 2024-04-11, 8:00 till 10:00 2001
Prüfung ist Teil der Grundlagen- und Orientierungsprüfung im Bachelorstudiengang Physik. // Exam is part of the Fundamentals and Orientation Examination (GOP) in the B.Sc. Physics. till 2024-03-25 (cancelation of registration till 2024-04-04)
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