Learning outcomes of the course unit
To teach the student to use scientific method; to familiarise the student with the units of measurement and orders of magnitude;
to make the student capable of independently solving simple problems in clearly defined contexts; to provide a groundwork of basic physics, emphasizing understanding over memorization;
to emphasize some basics, which could be useful later in the student's studies.
Course contents summary
• Units of measurement (MKSA system), prefixes p-, n-, m-, m-, k-, M-, G-, exponential notation, recap of simple notions of plane geometry and space.
• Vectors and scalars, vector addition with graphic method, properties of addition, subtraction of vectors. Cartesian decomposition of a vector, recap of trigonometry operations. Vector form. Scalar product, calculation also in the Cartesian system.
• Motion in one dimension: position, average and instantaneous speed, average and instantaneous acceleration, laws of motion and graphical method.
• Motion in two and three dimensions: position, average scalar and vector speed, instantaneous speed, average and instantaneous acceleration.
• Projectile motions in the Cartesian plane, definition of position and velocity, trajectory, range.
• Uniform circular motion, relative motion in one dimension and in three dimensions.
• Introduction to Newtonian dynamics: Newton's 1st and 2nd laws, unit of measure of force. Inertial reference systems. Newton's 3rd law. Everything is contained in the equation F = m * a.
• Strength weight. Normal strength. Background to the forces of friction. Tension of a rope. Study of the dynamics in different systems: eg. inclined plane without friction, with masses placed, tension on the wire.
• Friction between two solid surfaces: static and dynamic cases. Background to the physics of surfaces. Practical implications: angle limit, cars brakes. Inclined plane in the presence of friction.
• Aerodynamic friction, speed limit for the fall of raindrops and of parachutists.
• Dynamics of uniform circular motion: a turning automobile, a spacecraft in orbit.
• ENERGY AND WORK:
• Definition of kinetic energy and work, units of measurement. Kinetic work-energy theorem. Work of gravitational force. Average and instantaneous power, units of measurement.
• Conservative forces, potential energy, gravitational case. Total mechanical energy and its conservation in isolated systems.
• Work done by an outside force. Conservation of total energy in the presence of friction and external forces (heat wave as a form of energy).
• Electricity: electric charge, Coulomb's law, definition of electric field.
• Electric field of a sphere, a plane and a condenser.
• Conservatism of electrostatic force. Definition of potential energy, electrostatic potential: definition and examples. The Volt.
• Conductors and insulators. Potential of a conductor. Definition of Capacity. C of a sphere. C capacitors with flat faces and parallels.
• Moving charge, current, resistance and Ohm's law. Circuits.
• Capacitors in series and in parallel.
D. Halliday, R. Resnick, J. Walzer, Fondamenti di fisica, ed. Ambrosiana
Or: A. Caforio A. Ferilli, Nuova Physica, ed. Le Monni er, 1st and 3rd volumes.
Or: R. Searway, J. Jewett, Elementi di Fisica, ed EdiSES
During the course there will be two tests, one halfway through the course and one at the end of the term.
Please note that all students are submitted for the two tests during the course, irregardless of the result of the first test.
- Anyone who sufficiently passes both these tests automatically passes the examination with the average mark of the two tests that took place during the course (except if the student, at his own request, wishes to take an oral examination to increase the mark).
- Anyone who only sufficiently passes one of the two tests, is submitted for an additional oral examination on the subject of the test that they failed.
- Anyone who, despite having not achieved the pass mark, has got two marks of 15/30 or above, in both tests during the course, may take an additional oral examination on the whole program.
Admission to the oral test is valid only once, at the beginning of the second term of the following year, during which the student will have a new course with related tests.
In all other cases, however, as an alternative to ongoing tests, the student can take the exam at one of the usual sittings.
In this case, the examination consists of a written and an oral test, to which students who have passed the written test with a mark of at least 10/30 are admitted.