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Theoretical Physics 1 (Mechanics)

Module PH0005 [ThPh 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 SS 2022 (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
SS 2022SS 2021SS 2019SS 2018SS 2017SS 2016SS 2011

Basic Information

PH0005 is a semester module in German language at Bachelor’s level which is offered in summer semester.

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

  • Fundamentals Examination (GOP, Part 2) 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)
240 h 120 h 8 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH0005 is Norbert Kaiser.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


coordinate systems, inertial frames, Newton’s laws
trajectories, force, work, kinetic energy, potentials
point systems, center of mass, angular momentum, torque
Galilei transformations, (non-)inertial frames of reference
constrained motion, constraining forces
virtual work, d'Alembert's principle
Lagrange equations of the first and second kind,
action principle
Kepler’s problem
rigid body motion, moment of inertia,
gyroscope, precession
oscillations, Green functions, normal coordinates,
resonances, oscillations of a string or membrane,
wave equation, elementary mechanics of continua,
Hamiltonian equations (canonical formalism)
canonical transformations, Poisson brackets
special relativity: time dilation, Lorentz contraction,
Lorentz transformations, addition of velocities,
Lorentz tensors

Learning Outcome

After a successful participation in this module, the student should be able to:

1. understand the dynamical formulation of mechanical problems
2. apply the correct formalism to problems found in nature (e.g. distinction between Lagrangian equations of the first kind and second kind)
3. interpret of the dynamics by means of energetical arguments
4. understand the limitations of classical mechanics at high velocities


PH0001, MA9201, MA9202

for students studying bachelor of science education mathematics / physics: PH0001, MA9935, MA9936, MA9937, MA9939

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VO 4 Theoretical Physics 1 (Mechanics) Knap, M. Knolle, J. Mon, 10:00–12:00, PH HS1
Thu, 12:00–14:00, PH HS1
and singular or moved dates
UE 2 Open Tutorial for Theoretical Physics 1 (Mechanics) Leeb, V.
Responsible/Coordination: Knolle, J.
dates in groups eLearning
UE 2 Exercise to Theoretical Physics 1 (Mechanics) Leeb, V.
Responsible/Coordination: Knolle, J.
singular or moved dates
and dates in groups

Learning and Teaching Methods

Lecture: black-board presentation

Open tutorial: The open tutorial provides the opportunity for solving the exercises 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.

Tutorial: The tutorial is held in small groups. In the tutorial the weekly exercises are presented by the students and the tutor. They also provide room for discussions and additional explanations to the lectures.


Blackboard or beamer presentation

additional information on lecture web page


Standard literature of theoretical physics, e.g.:

  • T. Fliessbach, Mechanik, Springer Spektrum
  • H. Goldstein et al., Klassische Mechanik, Wiley-VCH Verlag
  • L.D. Landau, E.M. Lifschitz, Mechanik, Verlag Harri Deutsch
  • H. Stephani, G. Kluge, Klassische Mechanik, Spektrum Verlang
  • F. Scheck, Theoretische Physik 1: Mechanik, Springer-Verlag

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be a written exam of 90 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:

  • set-up and solution of the Euler-Lagrange equations for a system of mass points
  • identification of the symmetries of physical systems and calculation of the corresponding conservation laws

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 obtaining at least 50% of the points in the homework problems

General Remarks on Exams within Fundamentals Examination (GOP, Part 2) 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.

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