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Academic year
Didactic period
Secondo Semestre

Training objectives

This course is a primer to to General Physics and aims to teach the basic principles.

The aim of the course is to transmit to the student the cultural tools that allow him to continue the study of physical systems and to put it in a position to know how to set up, in a rigorous manner, and solve simple physical problems, connected with the motion of bodies and the behaviour of thermodynamics systems.


Working knowledge of elementary algebraic and trigonometric manipulations is a prerequisite. The student should be also familiar with the fundamentals of calculus, especially for functions of a single variable (basic knowledge of multi variable calculus may help).

Course programme

Scalars and vectors. Systems of measurement units. Dimensional analysis.

Point mechanics. Kinematics: displacement, speed, acceleration; rectilinear and curvilinear motions; analysis of relevant trajectories. Relative motions.

Dynamics: mass and force, inertial reference systems, the laws of dynamics.

Work, power, kinetic energy, conservative forces. Potential energy. Mechanical energy.

Systems mechanics: center of mass, impulse, momentum, collisions, angular momentum, rigid body.


Temperature; thermometric scales. Perfect and real gases. Heat. Thermal capacity and specific heat.

First principle of thermodynamics. Reversible and irreversible transfomations.

Second principle of thermodynamics. Entropy.

Didactic methods

Lectures on all topics will be given.

A teaching assistance and/or the main lecturer will also provide, at least once a week, worked solutions of problems and will suggest possible homework, to be discussed in class at a later time.

Learning assessment procedures

The purpose of the final exam is to verify the acquired knowledge.

It will consist of a written test and an oral test, to be held at a later date.

The written test consists in the resolution of exercises similar to those seen in the classroom. The estimated time is 90 minutes. You are admitted to the oral exam if you obtain a grade above 18/30

The oral interview will focus on the topics of the course. The final score will depend on the evaluation of the interview.

Reference texts

Main textbook: P. Mazzoldi, M. Nigro, C. Voci "Elementi di fisica. Meccanica, termodinamica", EDISES Napoli, II edizione

Also suggested: D. Halliday, R. Resnick, J. Walker "Fondamenti di Fisica" Ambrosiana, Milano;

Additional teaching material will be uploaded on the web site.