78814 - Environmental Physics

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Docente: Serena Righi
  • Credits: 3
  • SSD: FIS/07
  • Language: Italian
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Health Professions of Prevention Sciences (cod. 8878)

Learning outcomes

The student learns the theoretical bases for the use of the instruments necessary for the control and detection of physical phenomena in the monitoring of the living and working environment.

Course contents


Notes on scientific notation, physical quantities, International System of SI units, scalar and vector quantities.

Sound waves and noise pollution

Waves. Sound waves properties: definitions. Unit of measure: bel, decibel and phon. Human ear. Noise damage. Tolerance thresholds: notes on regulatory reference values. Notes on acoustic zoning.

Non ionizing radiation

Static and electromagnetic fields: definition of the fundamental physical quantities. Electromagnetic waves: definition and main parameters. Characterization of the electromagnetic spectrum as a function of frequency and wavelength. Interaction with biological matter: description of thermal effects and resonance mechanisms (energy transfer). Notes on regulatory references.

Ionizing radiation

Definitions of the main physical quantities associated with dosimetry. Radioactive decay. Radiation shielding according to their type. Characterization of the type of radiation (electromagnetic and corpuscular waves). Natural and artificial ionizing radiation sources (radioactive material, x-ray tubes, accelerators). Radon gas. Dose-dependent effects: stochastic and deterministic. Notes on standards and measuring instruments.


The main microclimatic parameters. Temperature, thermometric scales, thermal expansion, heat transmission, specific and absolute humidity, relative humidity.


The slides will be available after each lecture on the course website. The lecturer will highlight recommended reading (for example, a chapter or article) for each lecture.

Teaching methods

Lectures of the teacher and seminars (or webinars) delivered by expert speakers. 

Assessment methods

Written test on the whole programme. The students is invited to provide answers to a multiple-choice test and open questions. It is required that the anserws are synthetic and pertinent.

The learning assessment aims at a complete and balanced evaluation of the degree of achievement of all the objectives defined in the "learning outcomes" section.

The assessment is expressed as a grade up to thirty cum laude.

Teaching tools

Video projector.

Office hours

See the website of Serena Righi


Good health and well-being

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.