Physics I for Biologists (Fall 2016)


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 Directory.

Format and Requirements

The course consists of two 2-hour lectures per week and one 2-hour exercise session per week. Optional exercises will be assigned and reviewed in the exercise sessions throughout the semester. The final exam is based on and resembles these exercises. The lectures and exercise sessions are conducted in English. Whenever possible, all course materials, including exercises and the final exam will be available in both English and German. The instructors are Prof. Martino Poggio and Prof. Michel Calame (more information).


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 Wissenschafter und Ingenieure, 7. Auflage (pdf) by Paul A. Tipler, Gene Mosca, and Jenny Wagner (Springer, 2008), is available in online form as is a work book, Arbeitsbuch zu Tipler/Mosca Physik (pdf) by David Mills and Alexander Knochel (Springer, 2008), with practice problems and solutions.


Lectures: Thursdays and Fridays, 10.00-12.00, Grosser Hörsaal
Exercise Sessions: schedule
Exam: 03.02.2017, 9:00 – 11:00