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Academic year
Didactic period
Primo Semestre

Training objectives

The course aims to give the student the knowledge of the basic notions of general physics and then to highlight their applications in the biological and medical fields.
Knowledge and understanding:
the course aims to introduce the concepts and physical magnitudes useful to the understanding of events physiopathological phenomena's own the human body.
Applying knowledge and understanding:
the course aims to provide the basis for applying the scientific method in the description and interpretation of simple, natural phenomena.


Knowledge of mathematics includes basic arithmetic, algebra, Euclidean geometry, trigonometry and calculating differential and integral elements.

Course programme

Units, scalars and vectors. Position and reference systems: one, two and three dimensions. Concept of speed, average speed and instantaneous speed. The rectilinear and uniformly accelerated motion. Uniform circular motion.
Point dynamics, mass, active force and friction. Newton’s laws. The gravitational law. Theorem of kinetic energy. Work of a force. Kinetic energy. Conservative forces and potential energy. Conservation of mechanical energy. Material point systems. Harmonic oscillator, simple pendulum.
Liquids properties and density. Hydrostatic pressure and Stevino’s law. Pascal principle. The atmospheric pressure. Archimede’s law. Ideal fluids, continuity equation and flow, Bernoulli's theorem. Viscosity and Poiseuille's law. The surface tension.
Heat, calorimetry, temperature scales, heat capacity and specific heat capacity. Heat propagation. Expansion of solids, liquids and gases. Absolute temperature scale. Equation of ideal gases. Kinetic theory of gases. Internal energy. First and second law of thermodynamics.
Electricity and Coulomb’s force. Electric field and electric potential of simple charge distributions. The electrical conductivity. The first and second Ohm’s law. Electric resistor. The electric power and the Joule’s law. Parallel and series electrical resistors, Kirchhoff ‘s circuit laws. Alternating current. Magnetic field and electric current. The solenoid and its applications. Lorentz force. The mass spectrometer. Electromagnetic induction law and production of alternating current.
Propagation of mechanical wave. Power transfer. Wave pressure in a rigid pipe. Acoustic waves. Electromagnetic waves. Introduction to optics wave. Speed of electromagnetic waves, frequency and wavelength. Waves attenuation. The light quanta and photons. Spectrum of electromagnetic radiation and visible light. Propagation of light in media. Refractive index. Reflection and refraction of light. Snell's law. Geometrical optics. Thin lenses equation. Spherical dioptre. Radioactive decays, activity of a source, law of radioactive decay, half-life and decay constant. Absorbed dose.

Didactic methods

The course provides 75 teaching hours divided into 48 hours of theoretical lectures and 27 hours of online assisted teaching. The hours of on-line teaching of moodle platform certification service consisting in the deepening of some topics covered in class and indicated by the teacher at the beginning of the course. The teaching activity will be supplemented by hours of classroom exercises with in-depth exercises.

Learning assessment procedures

The assessment of the learning will be carried out by means of a written exam ranging from 60 to 90 minutes depending on the total number and the different weight of the questions (based on the complexity of the question) without the use of notes or books, in the presence of the teachers. The questions will be formulated with multiple choice questions (5 options for each question) related to all the educational objectives as defined above. There will be no penalty for incorrect or outdated answers.
The questions will be prepared in order to verify the knowledge acquired by the student during the course both with reference to the basics, and with reference to their application for the interpretation of pathophysiological events typical of the human organism, also through the interpretation of data and the resolution of simple problems; the questions will also allow to verify the student's ability to apply the scientific method to natural phenomena (also with the resolution of problems).

The score is given in thirtieths.
The maximum score, equal to 30 cum laude, is provided for those who correctly answer all the questions; the minimum score, equal to 18 out of 30, is foreseen for those who will correctly answer the 18/30 of the questions, taking into account the different weight attributed to them.
The questions must have a different weight based on the complexity of the question and the particular knowledge that is verified.

Reference texts

E. Casnati, “Elementi di fisica generale per scienze mediche”
Jewett and Serway, “Principi di Fisica”
Teacher notes