COMPLEMENTS OF PHYSICS
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims to introduce 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 structure of matter and the alternative energy sources.
The aim is to transfer knowledge and facilitate understanding that
allows to manage the major themes on the energy and 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. At the end of the course it is therefore expected that the student will be able to:
[Knowledge and understanding] -know the basic laws of Modern Physics and of the Structure of Matter;Understand the laws and the functioning of the main energy production systems;qualitatively explain the concepts illustrated in the course, but with corrects physical units and appropriate orders of magnitude.
[Applying Knowledge and understanding] -be able to apply thermodynamic concepts to various energy sources and to evaluate similarities and differences between physical systems; apply knowledge and understanding demonstrating skills in solving exercises and concrete problems (in particular on energy issues).
[Learning skills] -interpret and understand basic texts on energy production systems; tackle new problems by applying basic concepts.[Making judgements] -recognize and elaborate connections not only between the different parts of the course but also with basic concepts acquired in other courses; critically evaluate the validity limits of the physical models outlined in the course and the necessary approximations. [Communication skills] -communicate the acquired knowledge in a clear, concise and effective way, using the language of Physics, in order to correctly expose even complex concepts into a comprehensible language.
Course contents summary
The course, after revisiting the general concepts and applications of mechanics and electromagnetism, gives a very short 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. This part will require 1 CFU.
The basic concepts (including the Thermodynamics laws), useful for 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).
Waves - Electromagnetic waves and electromagnetic pollution -
geometrical optics - physical optics -
The colors of nature and the light -
Modern Physics - Structure of Matter
Atoms – Molecules - Nuclei
Natural and artificial radioactivity -
radiation sources - Interaction between radiation and matter -
ionizing radiations -
Radiation detectors -
Nuclear Energy - Fission and Fusion
The Earth-Sun-Atmosphere system.
Essential Thermodynamics and energy sources:
fossil – thermal and photovoltaic solar- hydroelectric - geothermal-wind - etc. and corresponding systems.
Notes given or posted on the web suggested by the teacher, and available on Elly platform. Online material will be given for learning tests.
Traditional lectures with examples and exercises. Slides and case studies from the WEB will be used. The necessary material will be available on the Elly platform.
During the lectures the applications of Physics at the everyday experience on energy needs will be constantly emphasized suggesting analogies and correspondences to find the
laws of physics, even and especially of Modern Physics, in different areas. Particular attention will be given to the exercises / applications with the involvement of the students.
Assessment methods and criteria
The level of learning is continuously evaluated with the
active involvement of the students.
At the end of the course a brief oral exam will be supplemented by a multiple choice test and a presentation (10 min) (Powerpoint, PPT) on a previously selected topic.
The oral exam intends to verify the understanding of the laws, of the principles,
links between energetic topics, the correlations between situations apparently
different. It is intended to evaluate the ability to apply the knowledge acquired during the Course and not the mnemonic statement.
With the presentation it is also intended to establish the correctness and accuracy of the language used, to evaluate the ability to independently elaborate the concepts and to distinguish the essential from the negligible.
During the oral examination the student will be asked to:
- demonstrate that he has developed independent judgements making based on the knowledge and understanding of fundamental laws, also by developing links between the different parts;
- be able to use the correct specialized language of Physics in order to correctly translate complex concepts into a comprehensible language.
The oral exam will be evaluated with a scale of 0-30 and will take into account the multiple choice test and the short PPT presentation.Verification of Dublin descriptors:
-knowledge, application of knowledge, learning skills, making judgements will be verified during the discussion of the topics (answers to the questions and test)- communication skills will be verified by the use of the appropriate language and correctness in the oral exam and in the presentation.