Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims at providing a basic understanding of physical processes and laws underlying the properties of matter. Laboratory experiments aim at providing some practical applications of the conceptual instruments highlighted in the class activity.
Basic knowledge (high school level) of algebra, trigonometry and differential calculus
Course contents summary
The course aims at providing:
the knowledge and understanding of the main principles of classical physics with focus on mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism together with skills in solving simple problems
the knowledge, at a qualitative level, of the main principles of modern physics: quantum theory, atomic physics, radioactivity and of their main applications in biology and medicine (lasers, PET, MRI)
the methodologies needed to obtain quantitative data from simple experiments and to treat them using error theory.
Units, Dimensions & Errors, Vectors, Motion in one and two dimensions, Newton’s laws of motion, Friction, Circular motion.
Work, Energy & Power, Momentum, Collision, Centre of mass, Rotational mechanics Gravitation.
Simple Harmonic motion, Wave motion and Sound waves, Fluid mechanics.
Calorimetry, Heat Transfer, Kinetic theory of gases, Thermodynamics.
Electric Force, Field and Potential, Capacitors, Electric Current, Electric Circuits.
Magnetic Force and Field, Electromagnetic Induction, Alternating Currents.
Reflection at Plane and Spherical Surfaces, Refraction at Plane and Spherical Surfaces, Optical Instruments, Defects of Vision, Wave Nature of Light: diffraction and interference.
Photoelectric effect, black body radiation, principles of quantum theory, wave-particle duality, uncertainty principle.
Atomic and nuclear physics: atomic models, hydrogen spectrum, X-rays, lasers, radioactivity, biological and medical applications of nuclear physics (PET, MRI).
Introduction to error theory, error distribution: standard deviation & normal distribution, error propagation, linear regression & non-linear approximations, Chi-squared test.
Use of "Origin" software for data analysis.
Mechanics: simple pendulum, viscosity
Thermodynamics: measure of the Joule equivalent
Electromagnetism: Ohm’s law, RC circuit
Optics: Measure of the diffraction index of a material.
Mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism:
J. W. Jewett Jr. & R. A. Serway - Principi di Fisica – EdiSES
J.S. Walker - Fondamenti di Fisica – Pearson Italia.
D.C. Giancoli - Fisica. Principi e applicazioni – CEA
Error theory and data treatment procedures:
J.R. Taylor - Introduzione all'analisi degli errori - Zanichelli
Class exercises coordinated by an instructor
laboratory activity carried out in small groups (three-five students)
Assessment methods and criteria
Written and oral final exams.
During the semester three partial test will be given on mechanics, thermodynamics and electromagnetism. Students that obtain an average positive result ( 18/30) are exempted from the written exam.