COMPLEMENTS OF PHYSICS
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims to complete the fundamental knowledge of modern physics and
deepen some applications for the study of the most common phenomena of interest
for the Sciences of Nature and Environment, in particular as concerns radioactivity, the physics of Earth and the alternative energy sources.
The aim is to transfer knowledge and facilitate understanding that
allows to manage the major themes on the environment that require a physical approach,
to interpret results and communicate in an understandable and appropriate way, developing
autonomous learning skills necessary for further studies, applications or research.
The aim is that the student will be able to apply the essential physics concepts, to analyze and simplify correctly and critically the real complex environmental problems.
Course contents summary
The course, after revisiting the general concepts and applications of mechanics and electromagnetism, is dedicated to the study of the waves, to an introduction to Modern Physics and then to some insights on the atomic and molecular structure before introducing the fundamentals of atomic nuclei, of nuclear reactions and of radioactivity.
The basic physics concepts (including Thermodynamics) useful for the study of the Earth system and the understanding of issues related to the different energy sources will then be introduced. A review of the technologies for energy production will be given (fossil, geothermal, solar, nuclear, wind power).
Electromagnetic waves and electromagnetic pollution
geometrical optics - physical optics
The colors of nature and the light
optical instrumentation - Microscopy - Electronic Microscopy
Modern Physics - Structure of Matter
Atoms – Molecules - Nuclei
Natural and artificial radioactivity
radiation sources - Interaction Radiation Matter
ionizing radiations -
Nuclear Energy - Fission and Fusion
Elements of Earth Physics
Seismology - seismic waves
The Earth-Atmosphere system
Essential Thermodynamics and energy sources:
from fossil to solar-geothermal-wind - etc.
Notes given or posted on the web suggested by the teacher, and available on Elly.
Lectures with examples and exercises, especially for geo/natural/environmental applications. Slides and case studies from the WEB will be used.
During the lectures the applications of Physics at the everyday experience will be constantly emphasized
suggesting analogies and correspondences to find the
laws of physics, even and especially of Modern Physics, in different areas.
Assessment methods and criteria
The level of learning is continuously evaluated with active
involvement of the students.
At the end of the Courses a brief oral interview, together with a simple test on issues previously indicated.
The oral test is to check the understanding of laws, principles, connections between different topics, correlations between apparently distinct situations.
The interview intends to evaluate the ability to apply the knowledge acquired during the course and not to have simple mnemonic statements.
The written test intends to establish the language correctness and precision and to evaluate the ability to independently develop concepts and to distinguish the essential from the insignificant.