Lecture and Exercises online

Given the ongoing pandemic and the max. capacity of the large physics lecture hall of 97 persons under BAG rules, the lecture will all be held online, available at the switch.ch tube channel

lectures https://tube.switch.ch/channels/293c6e05

This switch.ch tube channel is dedicated to the Physics 1 lecture for Biology, Geoscience and Pharmaceutical science students. The exercises will also be done online, and the solutions to the problem sets are available on a separate switch.ch channel

exercises https://tube.switch.ch/channels/fbd662e3

  • UniBas credentials (email and pwd) are required to log in. Content may be viewed at any time, anywhere.
  • The language of the lecture and the exercise classes is generally English, since it is the language of science. For better understanding, the problem sets are also available in German.
  • The lecturers are 
    Prof. Dr. Dominik Zumbühl
     (1st half of the semester) and 
    Prof. Dr Michel Calame
     (2nd half of the semester)
  • The exercises are optional. Students do not have to hand in solutions of the exercises and corrections will not be provided. Questions may be asked during the exercise zoom sessions, see below. Participation in the exercises is a very good preparation for the exam. It is recommended that you solve the problems on your own as much as possible, since this will result in the best learning effect.   
  • The exercise sheets and solutions (as a pdf) will be published online on ADAM here
    Exercise sheet #1 is available from Thurs, Sept 17, and every Thurs, we'll upload another problem set.   
    The solution videos with the detailed, step-by-step explanations are published on the exercise switch.ch channel every Monday, starting with sheet #1 on Monday, Sept 21, 2020. 
  • During the regular lecture slots, there will not normally be any teaching or live streaming. 
    Every Thursday, 10:30am, I am taking questions and comments on Zoom
    next one Thurs Oct 8, 10:30am Zoom Link
  • In addition, zoom sessions for questions on exercises and/ore lecture are offered at the following slots:
    Tuesdays, 8:15am (Pharmaceutical Sciences)
    Wednesdays, 2:15pm (Biology and other curricula)
    Wednesdays, 5:15pm (Geosciences)
    All on zoom lD: 637 634 6677
    First sessions on Sept 22/23, then every week. 
    Any student may enter any of the slots.
  • Sale of lecture notes, Thurs Sept 24 and Fri Sept 25, 10:00 - 11:00 am
    for those interested to buy the lecture notes (manuscript Prof. Oelhafen) for 20 CHF exact change. 
    The sale will be done at the entrance to the physics foyer at St. Johanns Ring. Due to the corona pandemic, please line up outside the building, bring exact change, wear your mask, go in, get the manuscript and leave again quickly. We have about 300 copies available, we hope and think that this should suffice. 
  • To obtain the 6KP, registration for the main lecture 10512-01 is required. Anyone who registered may also sign up for the exam (see below). Registration for the exercises is not required and not necessary (given that these are all online). Therefore, registration for course book Nrs. 10512-02, 03, 04, ... 11  is not necessary. It does not matter in case you have already signed up, no action required.  
  • Recommended formularies can be found here.
  • A table of contents is here.


This is the first semester of the required physics course for biologists, pharmacists and geologists. The main subjects covered are mechanics and thermodynamics. Knowledge of high school level mathematics is required, including understanding of basic geometry, trigonometry, vectors and calculus (derivatives and integrals). See university course description. A table of contents is here


Date: Friday, Jan 29, 2021, 9-11 o'clock (date and room to be confirmed)
Two hour written exam, similar to problem sets, comprised of all topics from the lecture and exercise classes. The exam will be both in English and German.
Exam regulations (see here)

  • A pocket calculator
  • One A4 sheet with handwritten text on both sides
  • A formulary (either one of the recommended ones from the lecture or your own, no notes inside allowed; post-its to mark pages are allowed)
  • A dictionary
  • Devices with wireless internet access are completely forbidden



The course is based on Physik für Mediziner, Biologen, Pharmazeuten, 8. Auflage (pdf) by Trautwein, Kreibig and Hüttermann (De Gruyter, 2014) in German. The recommended English textbook is Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Vol 1, 6th Edition by Paul A. Tipler, Gene Mosca (Freeman and Co., 2008) or - for a full version including material beyond this course - Physics for Scientists and Engineers, 6th Edition by Paul A. Tipler, Gene Mosca (Freeman and Co., 2008). Specific readings in both books are recommended in preparation for each lecture below. In addition, a German skriptum which covers the topics of the course can be purchased in class or downloaded (pdf). A German version of the Tipler text book, Physik für Wissenschaftler und Ingenieure, 7. Auflage by Paul A. Tipler, Gene Mosca and Jenny Wagner (Springer, 2008) (pdf), is available in online form as is a work book, Arbeitsbuch zu Tipler/Mosca Physik by David Mills and Alexander Knochel (Springer, 2008) (pdf), with practice problems and solutions.



17.09.2020 - Introduction and Math review

Introduction, course organization, outline and expectations; literature; mathematical review: vectors, geometry, trigonometry, derivates, integrals

Trautwein (German): chapters A.3, A.5
Tipler (English): chapters 1-6, 1-7, M-7, M-8, M-11, M-12

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Zumbühl

18.09.2020 - Physical Quantities

Physical quantities; units, measurements

Skript (German): chapter 101
Trautwein (German):
 chapter 1. to 1.1.5
Tipler (English): chapters 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 1-5

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Zumbühl

24.09.2020 - Space and Time I

Motion in space; velocity; acceleration

Skript: chapters 2.1 - 2.3, pages 102-1 to 4
Trautwein (German):
 chapters 1.2 to 1.2.4
Tipler (English): chapters 2,3

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Zumbühl

25.09.2020 - Space and Time II

Motion under constant acceleration; circular and harmonic motion

Skript: chapters 2.4 and 2.5, pages 102-5 to 13
Trautwein (German): chapters 1.2 to 1.2.4
Tipler (English): chapters 2, 3

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Zumbühl

01.10.2020 - Mass and Force I

Mass; inertia; Newton's laws; gravity; inertial forces

Skript: chapters 3.1 - 3.5, pages 103-1 to 7
Trautwein (German): chapters 2. to 2.2.5
Tipler (English): chapter 4

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Zumbühl

02.10.2020 - Mass and Force II

Torque; moment of inertia; angular momentum; center of mass

Skript: chapters 3.6 - 3.8, pages 103-7 to 14
Trautwein (German):
 chapters 2.2.6 to 2.2.9
Tipler (English): chapter 5

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Zumbühl

8.10.2020 - Friction


Skript: chapter 3.9, pages 103-15 to 19
Trautwein (German):
 chapter 3
Tipler (English):
 chapter 6 

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Zumbühl

9.10.2020 - Work, Energy and Power

Work, energy, power, forms of energy and power

Skript: chapters 4.0 - 4.2, pages 104-1 to 8
Trautwein (German): chapter 3
Tipler (English): chapter 6 

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Zumbühl

15.10.2020 - Conservation Laws I

Conservation of energy, conservation of momentum

Skript: chapters 5.0 - 5.2, pages 105-1 to 8
Trautwein (German):
 chapter 4 to 4.3
Tipler (English):
 chapters 7, 8 (excluding 7-4, 7-5) 

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Zumbühl

16.10.2020 - Conservation Laws II

Conservation of angular momentum

Skript: chapters 5.2 - 5.3, pages 105-9 to 12
Trautwein (German):
 chapter 4.4
Tipler (English):
 chapters 9, 10 (excluding 10-4) 

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Zumbühl

22.10.2020 - Mechanical Properties of Solids

Binding, forms of matter, properties of solids

Skript: chapters 6.0 - 6.2, pages 106-1 to 7
Trautwein (German):
 chapter 5 to 5.2
Tipler (English):
 chaptes 37, 38-1, 12

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Zumbühl

23.10.2020 - Mechanical Properties of Liquids I

Properties of liquids, hydrostatics, surface tension 

Skript: chapters 7.1 and 7.2, pages 107-1 to 7
Trautwein (German):
 chapter 5.3 to
Tipler (English):
 chapter 13

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Zumbüh

29.10.2020 - Mechanical Properties of Liquids II

capillaries, hydrodynamics, continuity eq., Bernoulli eq.

Sktipt: chapter 7.3 to 7.4.2, pages 107-8 to 107-15
Trautwein (German): chapter to
Tipler (English):
 chapter 13

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Zumbühl

30.10.2020 - Mechanical Properties of Liquids III

Viscosity, flow resistance, sedimentation

Skript: chapter 7.4.3 and 7.4.4, pages 107-16 to 107-22
Trautwein (German): chapter to
Tipler (English):
 chapter 13 

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Zumbühl

05.11.2020 - Liquids IV, Mech. Vibrations I

Laminar and turbulent flow, Reynolds criterion

Harmonic oscillators, pendulum, undamped oscillator, damped oscillator, driven oscillations

Skript: chapters 7.4.4, pages 107-23 to 25 (D. Zumbühl)
 chapters 8.1, pages 108-1 to 6 (M. Calame)
Trautwein (German):
 chapter 6 to 6.4
Tipler (English):
 chapter 14

06.11.2020 - Mech. Vibrations II

damped and forced oscillations, superposition, Fourier decomposition, beating, coupled pendulum

Skript: chapters 8.2 to 8.5, pages 108-7 to 15
Trautwein (German): chapter 6.5 to 6.6
Tipler (English):
 chapter 14 

Lecturer: Prof. M. Calame

12.11.2020 - Waves I

types of waves, wave equation, harmonic waves, plane and spherical waves

Skript: chapters 9.1 and 9.2, pages 109-1 to 8
Trautwein (German):
 chapter 7 to 7.4
Tipler (English):
 chapter 15 

Lecturer: Prof. M. Calame

13.11.2020 - Waves II

Doppler effect, Mach cone, anharmonic waves, superposition and diffraction, standing waves, eigenmodes

Skript: chapters 9.3 to 9.5, pages 109-9 to 21
Trautwein (German): chapter 7.5 to 7.8
Tipler (English):
 chapter 15 

Lecturer: Prof. M. Calame

19.11.2020 - Waves III

Interfaces: reflection and refraction, acoustics, human voice and ear

Skript: chapters 9.6 and 9.7, pages 109-22 to 30
Trautwein (German): chapter 7.9 to 7.13
Tipler (English):
 chapter 16 

Lecturer: Prof. M. Calame

20.11.2020 - Heat and Temperature

Definition of temperature, heat energy, heat capacity, temperature scales, temperature measurements, thermal expansion

Skript: chapter 201, pages 201-1 to 8
Trautwein (German):
 chapter 8
Tipler (English):
 chapter 17-1, 17-2, 18-1 

Lecturer: Prof. M. Calame

26.11.2020 - Macroscopic Thermal Effects

heat transport, internal energy and introduction to 1st law of thermodynamics

Skript: chapter 202. 202-1 to 9
Trautwein (German):
 chapter 13. to 13.2
Tipler (English):
 chapter 20-1, 20-4, 18-3 

Lecturer: Prof. M. Calame

27.11.2020 - Dies Academicus

03.12.2020 - Ideal Gases

Ideal gas law, change of state, adiabatic changes, gas pressure, kinetic gas theory, specific heat

Skript: chapter 203, pages 203-1 to 8
Trautwein (German):
 chapter 9, 10
Tipler (English):
 chapter 17-3, 17-4

Lecturer: Prof. M. Calame

04.12.2020 - Kinetic Gas Theory

Kinetic energy and temperature, equipartition, brownian motion, work, heat capacity, real gases

Skript: chapter 203, pages 203-9 to 16
Trautwein (German):
 chapter 10, 11
Tipler (English):
 chapter 17-4, 18-1, 18-2 

Lecturer: Prof. M. Calame

10.12.2020 - Law of Thermodynamics I

Internal energy, 1st law, reversible and irreversible process, entropy

Skript: chapter 204, page 1 to 8
Trautwein (German):
 chapter 12.1 to 12.4
Tipler (English):
 chapter 18-3, 18-4, 18-5, 18-6, 18-7, 18-8, 18-9

Lecturer: Prof. M. Calame

11.12.2020 - Law of Thermodynamics II

2nd law, energy balance, heat engines

Skript: chapter 204, page 9 to 12
Trautwein (German):
 chapter 12.5
Tipler (English):
 chapter 19

Lecturer: Prof. M. Calame

17.12.2020 - Thermal Properties of Matter

Mixing, solutions, diffusion, osmosis

Skript: chapter 205, pages 1 to 4,  chapter 206, page 1 to 3
Trautwein (German):
 chapter 13.3 to
Tipler (English):
 chapter 20-2, 20-3

Lecturer: Prof. M. Calame