Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course has been designed to provide an introductory basis for other major degree fields including Chemistry, Biology, Physiology, Biochemistry, etc., as well as the physical phenomenology on which they are based or which they make frequent use of. The course will also provide the conceptual basis for understanding a number of major technologies that with increasing frequency are used by doctors and technologists such as: microscopes, transducers for ultrasound equipment, laser systems, radiology equipment and NMR, radiation detectors, etc.
Course contents summary
Fundamental Laws of Dynamics
Vectors and scalars. Units, dimensions. Velocity and acceleration. Newton's laws. Newton's law of gravitation. Acceleration of gravity. Difference between mass and weight. Work, power and energy. Types of energy: thermal, chemical, potential, kinetic, nuclear. Energy conservation law. Friction. Static and dynamic friction. Force and moment of a force. Centre of gravity, barycentre. Equilibrium state of a rigid body. Levers and applications to the human body. Structure of solids. Elastic properties of a body, Young's modulus. Elastic behaviour of blood vessels and bones.
Fluids and Fluid Dynamics
Pressure, Stevino’s law. Pascal’s law. Archimede's principle. Torricelli barometer.
Flow rate. Characteristics of an ideal fluid. Bernoulli's theorem. Applications of Bernoulli's theorem to blood circulation. Real fluids. Laminar flow. Turbulent flow. Reynolds number. Blood pressure measurement. Surface tension and capillarity.
Waves, Optics, Electrostatics, Electricity, Magnetism and Radiations.
Vibrations: harmonic, damped, forced motions, and resonance. Characteristics of waves, the wave equation, superposition and interference of waves, stationary waves. Sound waves, the ear and hearing, interference of sound, beats. Ultrasound. Doppler effect. The Doppler echo in diagnostics: an application of the Doppler effect.
Light. Geometrical optics: refraction, reflection, Snell's law, total reflection. Lenses and Dioptres. Creation of an image with a thin lens. The human eye, basic optical instruments . Interference of light. Diffraction of light.
Electrostatics: electric charge. Coulomb's law. Electric field Electric potential Electric current: definition of resistance. DC (direct current) circuits. Ohm's laws. Serial and parallel resistors. Kirchhoff's law. Resistance, capacitance and inductance in an AC (alternating current) circuit. Gauss' theorem. Flux of an electric field. Electrocardiogram. Series and parallel capacitance. Dielectrics.
Magnetic Field. Electromagnetic field. Motion of charges in a magnetic field. Biot-Savart law and Ampere's law. Force generated between current-carrying conductors. Magnetic Induction: Faraday's law and Lenz's law.
The atom. Radioactivity, law of radioactive decay, half-life. Electromagnetic spectrum. Photons as particles and waves. Production and applications of X rays. Principles of Radioptrotection.
A. Giambattista, B. McCarthy Richardson, R. Richardson "Fisica Generale. Principi e Applicazioni" Ed. McGraw-Hill
Assessment methods and criteria