Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course has been designed to provide fundamental concepts indispensable for understanding the mechanisms and the laws that rule the nature and that underlie the properties of matter, with special emphasis on those aspects useful in the comprehension of chemical and biological processes to better understand the concepts necessary to some of the following biology and chemistry courses. In addition, the course want to give the ability to formulate and solve the problems.
Basic concepts of algebra and calculus.
Course contents summary
Physical quantities and units. Frames of reference and coordinate axes. Vectors.
MECHANICS. Force. Displacement. Velocity. Acceleration. Particular motions. Newton’s laws. Gravity. Free-fall motion. Relative velocity. Normal force. Tension in a cord. Friction. Restoring force of a spring. Centripetal force. Uniform and non-uniform circular motion. Periodic motion. Simple harmonic motion. Simple pendulum. Law of universal gravitation. Work. Kinetic energy. Potential energy. Conservation of mechanical energy. Generalized principle of energy conservation. Power. Linear momentum and its conservation. Impulse. Collisions. Rotational motion. Rotational kinetic energy. Moment of a force and of a pair of forces. Condition for equilibrium of a rigid body. Angular momentum and its conservation. FLUIDS. Pressure. Stevino’s law. Pascal’s principle. Archimede’s principle. Laminar and turbulent flow. Flow rate. Equation of continuity. Bernoulli’s principle. Venturi tube. Torricelli’s theorem. Real fluids. Coefficient of viscosity and Stokes’ law. Poiseuille’s equation. Reynolds’ number. Surface tension.
THERMODYNAMICS. Temperature and thermometric scales. Zeroth law of thermodynamics. Thermal expansion. The ideal and real gas law. Kinetic theory of gases. Diffusion and Fick’s law. Heat. Internal energy. Thermal capacity and specific heat. Latent heat and change of phase. Conduction, convection and radiation. Thermodynamic processes. The first law of thermodynamics. Isobaric, isochoric, isothermal and adiabatic processes. Cycles. Specific heat at constant P or V for an ideal gas. The second law of thermodynamics. Heat engines and efficiency. Carnot cycle. Refrigerators and heat pumps. Entropy.
ELECTROMAGNETISM. Electric charge. Conductors and insulators. Conduction and induction. Coulomb’s law. Electric field. Different kinds of charge distributions and their electric fields. Electric field flow. Gauss law. Electric potential energy. Electric potential. Circuits. Capacitors. Electric current. Resistance. Ohm’s law. Electric power. Joule effect. Magnetic field. Magnetic force. Motion of a charge in a uniform magnetic field. Lorentz’s force. Hall effect. Wires and loops. Ampere’s law. Solenoid. Magnetism in the matter. Magnetic field flow. Faraday’s law of induction. Lenz’s law. Conductor in motion in a uniform magnetic field. Generalization of Ampere’s theorem. Maxwell’s equations in vacuum.
OPTICS. Electromagnetic waves and electromagnetic spectrum. Polarization. Huygens’ principle. Interference. Diffraction. Geometrical optics. Reflection and refraction. Snell’s law. Total reflection. Lens and images forming. Relationship between conjugate points. Lenses builders’ equation. Crystalline lens and image formation in the eye. Plane and spherical mirrors. Images forming and relationship between conjugate points. Light dispersion.
Serway & Jewett - Principi di Fisica – EdiSES
J.S. Walker – Fondamenti di Fisica – Pearson
Giancoli - Fisica – Ambrosiana
Oral lessons in which the topics of the classic physics reported in the section “Contents” will be presented and explained. The arguments will be completed by several examples and exercises to the aim of understanding the possible applications of the explained concepts.
Assessment methods and criteria
Written exam in which both the resolution of problems and the answer to questions about the fundamental physical concepts and principles explained in the oral lessons will be required.
The students can improve the final evaluation with an oral exam.