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Versione italiana
Academic year
Didactic period
Secondo Semestre

Training objectives

Knowledge: the course aims at providing the basics of kinematics and dynamics of a particle, of an ensamble of particles together with an introduction to the rigid-body motion. The formalism involves vectorial algebra, differential and integral calculus in three-dimensional physical space. The course introduces the theory of the uncertainties for physical quantities, based on an empirical introduction to random variables and probability, aimed at the curve of errors and estimation of its parameters. This subject is completed with the propagation of uncertainties.
Skills: the course aims at a spatial vision of mechanical problems and the use of the concepts learned in algebra and mathematical analysis courses to solve problems of kinematics and dynamics. After studying this course one should acquire the ability to formulate the uncertainty range for any physical quantity, measured either directly or indirectly.


It is required knowledge of vector algebra and differential and integral calculus of real variable functions.

Course programme

Physical quantities and dimensional equations (0.5 CFU). Kinematics of a single particle (1.5 CFU). Dynamics of a single particle. Examples of forces, tribilogy. Main theorems of single-particle dynamics (2.5 CFU). Kinematics and dynamics in mutually moving frames (1 CFU). Dynamics of systems of particles: first and second cardinal equations, motion with respect to the center-of-mass frame. Introduction to rigid-body dynamics (1.5 CFU).
Empirical distributions, limit distributions for discrete and continuous variables, introduction to random variables, probability (1 CFU). Curve of errors, maximum likelihood method, uncertainty range. Propagation of uncertainties for independent and correlated variables (1 CFU).

Didactic methods

Directly imparted lectures and exercises. After-lecture exercises and their tutored resolution in class. Exercises on the course site with and without solution are available for self-study.

Learning assessment procedures

Written tests of exercises and oral exams of theory are scheduled during the three yearly exam sessions. At least two appeals for each session are guaranteed. Admission to the theory test is obtained after passing the exercise test.
Three partial tests of exercises during the course are also planned. If passed such partial tests exempts from testing in exercises during the sessions. There will also be a recovery test at the end of the course.

Reference texts

Suggested textbook on mechanics is
Italian: Fisica vol.1 meccanica, termodinamica, Paolo Mazzoldi, Massimo Nigro, Cesare Voci, edited by EdiSES,
ISBN 8879591371
English: Physics, Volume 1, 5th Edition, Robert Resnick, David Halliday, Kenneth S. Krane, edited by Wiley
ISBN 9780471320579

Suggested textbook on the theory of uncertainties is
An Introduction to Error Analysis: The Study of Uncertainties in Physical Measurements 2nd Edition, John R Taylor, edited by University Science Books,
ISBN 9780935702750

Course notes