Experimental Physics 1 - Mechanics, Waves and Thermodynamics

Recommended for:

Students of the 1. Semester

Length of time:

1 Semester


every winter semester


  1. Students are made familiar with the basic concepts and terminology of mechanics, thermodynamics and mechanics of waves and oscillations.
  2. Students are taught to independently solve exercises and tasks dealing with these topics.
  3. Students learn to apply the newly gained concepts in basic experiments.


  • Mechanics
  1. Typical experiments regarding kinematics and dynamics of point-like masses, Newton's laws.
  2. Accelerated frames of references, inertial forces.
  3. Conservation of impulse, energy, angular momentum.
  4. (Newtonian) gravitation and planet dynamics.
  5. Statics and dynamics of rigid objects.
  6. Mechanics of deformable objects.
  • Waves and Oscillations
  1. Concept of oscillations.
  2. Mechanics of waves and acoustics.
  3. Interference and principle of superposition.
  4. Michelson-Morley experiment and relativity.
  • Thermodynamics
  1. Main laws of thermodynamics.
  2. Temperature.
  3. Heat capacity.

Exam and exam permission:

The exam will take place in presence form at the end of the semester. Like every exam, the goal is to let the students demonstrate that they have understood and can apply the principles taught throughout the semester. Intended are 180 minutes of time to solve the exam tasks.

Throughout the semester, exercise sheets for the students to solve will be given out and evaluated weekly. If a student is able to gain at least 50% of all achievable exercise points, he or she will be permitted to the exam.  However, achieving more than 50% of the points of the exercise will not have any influence on the exam grading. The exercises are also thought to give students routine and confidence in dealing with problems related to the lecture contents. Furthermore, the tasks presented in the exam will be strongly oriented on the weekly exercises.