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PHY311 Mechanik

Materials and information on OLAT

The following materials and additional information will be available on OLAT: script, slides presented during the lectures, exercises and solutions.


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 7*20 = 47 points)
  • 33% of the available points of exercises 8-13 (33% of 6*20 = 40 points)
  • 50% of the available points of exercises 1-13  (50% of 13*20 = 130 points)
  • pass the exam

General Information

Lecturer: Prof. Stefano PozzoriniY36 K78

Dr. Zach Polonsky Y36 J36

Jürg Haag Y36 K36

Mohammad Alminawi Y36 J38

Nicolo Giraudo Y36 K84

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
  • Conservation laws
  • Lagrangian Mechanics and constraints
  • Least action principle
  • Symmetries and conservation laws
  • Coordinate transformations and moving coordinate systems
  • Kepler problem
  • Rigid-body dynamics
  • Special relativity
  • 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 with two assistants each:

  • Group 1 : Zach Polonsky + Mohammad Alminawi
  • Group 2: Jürg Haag+Nicolo' Giraudo

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 exercise sheet will be published on Thursday 19.9, and the first tutorials take place on Wednesday 20.9


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

The solutions can be handed in individually or 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 9, 2024,  9:00-12:00

Format: written exam (problems)

Detailed information: see OLAT

Repetition exam: Thursday September 12, 2024