27533 - Physics 1

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Chemistry and Materials Chemistry (cod. 8006)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student has mechanics and thermodynamics fundamental knowledge with their validity and application limits. In particular, he knows how to solve statics and dynamics, physics of fluids and thermodynamics simple problems.

Course contents


- Introduction and vector calculus
Physical quantities. Units of measurement and systems of units. Vectors and scalars. Vector computation elements.
- Kinematics and dynamics of the material point
The motion of the material point from the kinematic point of view, in one dimension (rectilinear motion) and in several dimensions. The search for the causes that generate the motion of bodies. Definition of force. The fundamental forces. The fundamental laws of dynamics (Newton's laws). Inertial systems. Galilean transformations.
- Work and energy
The work done by a force on a body. The power. The concept of energy. The work-energy theorem and kinetic energy for a material point. Conservative force fields and potential energy. Conservation of mechanical energy.
- Momentum and collisions
The concepts of momentum and impulse. Conservation of momentum. Collisions. Center of mass reference system. Center of mass theorems. Angular momentum. Moment of a force. The momentum-impulse theorem. Systems of material points, cardinal equations of the dynamics of systems. Konig's theorems for kinetic energy and angular momentum.
- Rigid body
Definition of rigid system. Kinematics of rotational motion. The moment of inertia. The parallel axis theorem (Huygens Steiner). Rotational energy. Conservation of angular momentum. Rotation of a rigid body around a fixed axis. Rolling of a rigid body. Elements of statics of the rigid body.
- Periodic motion
Simple harmonic motion: equations of motion and period.
- Hints of gravitation
Kepler's laws, Newton's law of universal gravitation; the motion of the satellites.
- Fluids
Static fluids: the concepts of density and pressure; hydrostatic equation; Stevino's law; Pascal's law; Archimedes' principle. Fluid dynamics: the concept of flow tube; continuity equation, flow rate; Bernoulli's equation, Torricelli's theorem.


The concept of temperature. Thermal equilibrium; the zeroth law of thermodynamics; the thermometer and thermometric scales. The concept of heat. Specific heat. Phase transitions.
Equation of state of ideal gases. Kinetic theory of the perfect gas. Thermodynamic transformations. The concept of thermodynamic work. Internal energy. The first law of thermodynamics.
The second law of thermodynamics: thermal machines and Kelvin's statement of the second law; refrigeration machines and Clausius's statement of the second principle; reversible machines and performance; Carnot cycle and machine. The concept of entropy: entropy and disorder. The principle of the increase of entropy as a further statement of the second principle. Entropy and probability.


    • P. Mazzoldi, M. Nigro, C. Voci "Elementi di fisica. Meccanica e termodinamica", Edises.
    • J. Walker, Halliday - Resnick "FONDAMENTI DI FISICA", Meccanica, Onde, Termodinamica", Casa Editrice Ambrosiana.

Teaching methods

Il corso consiste di lezioni frontali in aula, organizzate in spiegazioni teoriche, applicazioni pratiche ed esercizi.

Assessment methods

The Physics 1 assessment test is written and oral. There are no restrictions for admission to the written test. There are no partial examinations during the year. Students are admitted to the oral exam by passing the written test. You pass the Physics 1 module by passing the oral exam.

  • The written test will contain a series of problems to verify the knowledge of the topics presented in class. The problems will be of comparable difficulty to that of the exercises addressed during the course. Only the use of calculators will be allowed. The consultation of notes, books, electronic devices will not be allowed. The written test will last 90 minutes. It will be possible to take more written tests but the vote of the last test delivered will always be worth. The written test is passed with a minimum grade of 18/30.
  • The oral exam will consist of a discussion of the written written and theoretical questions on the entire program. The student can take the oral exam within the same session or in the following session. After this deadline, the written test must be repeated. The oral exam (and consequently the Physics module 1) will be passed with a minimum evaluation of 18/30.
  • Physics 1 is part of the Integrated Course (C.I.) of Physics, which also includes Physics 2. The recording of the grade of Integrated Course Physics (C.I.) will take place after passing both the Physics 1 and Physics 2 tests, with the final grade obtained by the average of the two marks. It is advisable to pass the Physics 1 exam before taking the Physics 2 exam.

Practical indications for registering for the exams:

  • Registration for the written test takes place by registering on the Almaesami website. Indicatively, the list is closed a few days before the written test.  
  • Registration for the oral exam takes place through registration in Almaesami. It is possible to register up to the day before. For the oral exam, the order of enrollment in Almaesami is followed. The oral exam could take place over several days if the number of subscribers is greater than 30. Any exchange of positions is allowed but you must agree between yourself.

Teaching tools

Slides and other material shown during the lessons will be available on the Virtual web site. Active participation at lessons, although not compulsory, is considered very useful. Occasionally short films, graphics, drawings and other useful material can be shown and discussed to facilitate the understanding of some concepts.

Office hours

See the website of Tiziano Rovelli