PHY311 Mechanik

Materials and information on OLAT

The following materials and additional information will be available on OLAT: script, slides presented during the lectures, Zoom link for streaming, Zoom recordings.


Module requirements

In order to pass the module each of the following requirements must be met:

  • 33% of the available points of exercises 1-7
  • 33% of the available points of exercises 8-13
  • 50% of the available points of exercises 1-13
  • pass the exam

General Information

Lecturer: Prof. Stefano PozzoriniY36 K78

Dr. Jason Aebischer Y36 J44

Dr. Joe Davighi Y36 J38

Luca Naterop Y36 H70

Dr. Benjamin Stefanek Y36 J42

Module Code: PHY 311
ECTS Credits: 8


Rooms and schedule

For the coordinates of lecture and tutorials see the  UZH lecture calendar


Lecture and exercises in English

Main Topics

  • Kinematics and dynamics of a system of point-like masses
  • Coordinate transformations and moving coordinate systems
  • Conservation laws
  • Kepler problem
  • Rigid-body dynamics
  • Lagrangian Mechanics and constraints
  • Variational principles
  • Symmetries and conservation laws
  • Hamiltonian equations of motion
  • Canonical transformations and Hamilton-Jacobi theory


The lecture is mainly based on

  • H. Goldstein: Classical Mechanics
  • David Tong: Lectures on Classical Dynamics (Available here)

  • Script by Prof. Gino Isidori (available on OLAT)

In addition the following books are suggested

  • V.I. Arnold: Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics
  • L.D. Landau and E.M. Lifschitz: Mechanics (Course in Theoretical Physics Vol. 1)
  • W. Greiner: Classical Mechanics (as exercise book)

Exercise groups

The students are split into two groups as follows

  • Group 1: last name starting with letters A-M
  • Group 2: last name starting with letters N-Z

If needed the two groups will be rebalanced after the first week. Note that the tutorials for groups 1 and 2 take place at different times as specified in the UZH course catalogue

The first tutorial takes place for everybody in room Y22 F62 on Wednesday 21.9 at 15:00


Workflow of exercises

There will be 13 exercises and the workflow for the Nth exercise is as follows

  • Tuesday of week N: publication of problems on OLAT at 4 PM
  • Wednesday of week N: preliminary discussion and hints during the tutorials
  • Monday of week N+1: deadline for submitting solutions via OLAT at 5 PM
  • Wednesday of week N+1: discussion of solutions during the tutorials

If desired, the solutions can be handed in in groups of two students


Investing a significant amount of time for solving the exercises during the semester is crucial for the understanding of the lecture and plays a very important role as a preparation for the written exam!



Date and place: Friday February 10, 9:00-12:00

Format: written exam (problems)

Detailed information: will be available in due time on OLAT


Repetition exam: the date will be fixed at the end of the Semester