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Academic year
Didactic period
Secondo Semestre

Training objectives

The main aim of this course is the introduction to the study of Physics and to provide basic knowledge on the subject. Special attention is devoted to show the most appropriate methods to solve scientific problems and to properly present such solutions (definition of the variables and reference frame, correct management of units). At the end of the course the student will have learned the basic principles of mechanics, thermodynamics and electromagnetism. He will also have developed the skills necessary to solve problems and deal with simple applications.


The possess of an appropriate methodology for the study of scientific topics, based on understanding of the meaning of laws and equations and not on their mere memorization, is necessary in order to approach this course. The knowledge of the basics of mathematical analysis is necessary; As a consequence, passing the "Mathematics" exam is a prerequisite for taking the examination of this course.

Course programme

First Module (6 CFU – 48 hours)

Introduction (2 hours lectures and 1 hour exercises):
Scalars and vectors. Systems of measurement units. Dimensional analysis.

Massive particle mechanics (13 hours lectures and 5 hours exercises):
Particle mechanics. Kinematics: displacement, velocity, acceleration; rectilinear and curvilinear motions; analysis of specific motions. Relative motions. Dynamics: mass and force, inertial frame of reference, the laws of dynamics. Work, power, kinetic energy, conservative forces. Potential energy. Mechanical energy.

Mechanics of a system of particles (12 hours lectures and 3 hours exercises):
System of particles, center of mass, impulse, linear momentum, collisions, angular momentum. Rigid body. Motion equations and conservation principles.

Gravitation (1 hours lectures and 1 hours exercises).

Fluids (9 hours lectures and 2 hours exercises):
Fluid mechanics: pressure, equations of continuity and of Bernoulli, applications.

Thermodynamics (11 hours lectures and 3 hours exercises):
Temperature. The temperature scales. Ideal and real gases. Heat. Specific heat and thermal capacity. The first principle of thermodynamics. Reversible and irreversible processes. The second principle of thermodynamics. Carnot cycle. Entropy.

Second Module (3 CFU – 24 hours)

Electromagnetism (24 ore di lezione + 8 ore di esercitazione)
Electrical forces and electrical fields. Electric potential and capacity. Current and current circuits. Magnetic forces and fields.

Didactic methods

The course consists of lectures and exercises. During the lessons the students will be allowed to interact communicating any difficulty, e.g. related to the understanding of arguments or to inadequate preparation on course prerequisites. During the exercises, carried out thanks to the availability of support staff (teaching support, tutor), problems and applications of the theory will be proposed. Students' active participation in the solution of problems will be encouraged and there will be the opportunity to propose problems of interest to them.

Learning assessment procedures

The exam of the first module consists of a written test concerning all the topics of the module and includes both exercises and theory questions. The oral test is optional and will be done by student’s request only if the written test is passed with an evaluation between 18 and 30.

The exam of the second module is a written test concerning all the topics of the module (electromagnetism). The oral test is optional and it will be done by student’s request only if the written test is passed with an evaluation between 18 and 30.

The final evaluation is given by the average weighted with CFT of the evaluations of the two modules.

Reference texts

The following books are used for teaching:

- Halliday, Resnick; Fondamenti di Fisica (meccanica, onde, termodinamica); VII edizione; CEA.
- Mazzoldi, Nigro, Voci; Elementi di Fisica (meccanica, termodinamica); EdiSES, 2008.
- Serway, Jewett; Principi di Fisica; EdiSES, 2015.

Lecture notes and slides are available on the Internet site of the course.

Other recommended books (exercises):
- Villa, Uguzzoni; Esercizi di Fisica - Meccanica; CEA, 2016.
- Del Papa, Giordani, Giugliarelli; Problemi di Fisica con Soluzione - meccanica, termodinamica, gravitazione; CEA, 2014.