88148 - General Physics P

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Moduli: Alessandro Gabrielli (Modulo 1) Federica Primavera (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Mechatronics (cod. 6009)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student has the basic knowledge of classical physics divided into elements of mechanics, thermodynamics, waves and electromagnetism. It also acquires autonomy in the scientific approach for solving general physics problems. Particular attention is paid to the topics shared with the other subjects and to the aspects of immediate application of the theory to everyday life.

Course contents


Kinematics - Average speed, Instant speed, Average acceleration, Instant acceleration. One-dimensional and two-dimensional motion. Uniform and parabolic circular motion. Tangential and angular velocity. Centripetal, tangential and angular acceleration.

Dynamics. Newton's laws. First, second and third law. Conservative forces. Static and dynamic friction, forces dependent on speed. Momentum, conservation principle. Angular momentum, moment of inertia, moment of a force. Conservation law of angular momentum. Rigid bodies. Rolling condition without crawling. Mechanical Energy. Work, kinetic and potential energy, gravitational and elastic. Conservation law of mechanical energy, the theorem of living forces. Gravitation. Kepler's laws, gravitational force, motion of a satellite. Dynamics of the fluids. Archimedes' principle and Bernoulli's theorem.


Thermodynamic systems and their transformations. - The zero principle of thermodynamics. Celsius-Kelvin-Farenheit thermometric scales. Temperature and thermometers. Thermodynamic transformations and changes of state. Laws of Volta, Gay-Lussac, Boyle, Avogadro.

The first law of thermodynamics. - Adiabatic work, internal energy and first law of thermodynamics. Quantity of heat and conservation of energy in a generalized sense. Critical temperature. Thermal capacity, molar, specific and latent heats. Perfect gases: internal energy, Poisson's equations.

The second law of thermodynamics. - Reversibility and irreversibility. Cyclic thermal machines and their performance. The second law of thermodynamics. Carnot cycle and theorem. Absolute thermodynamic scale of temperatures. Clausius theorem and Entropy state function. Law of accretion of entropy.

Waves and Oscillations

Periodic motions. Simple pendulum, body hanging from a spring, free, damped and forced harmonic oscillator. Waves.


Electricity. - Coulomb's law, electric field and potential, Gauss's law for the electric field. Charges subject to electric fields. Electrostatic potential, electrostatic potential energy, Faraday cage. Continuity equation for electric current. Introduction to electrical networks, capacitance, resistance and Kirchhoff's laws. RMS value of voltage and current.

Magnetism. - Magnetic forces and their properties. First and second Laplace equations. Gauss's law for the magnetic field. Ampère's law - Maxwell. Faraday's Law - Lenz.

Electromagnetism.- Maxwell's equations in integral form. Notes on electromagnetic waves.


- FISICA per Scienze ed Ingegneria - Sesta Edizione

Serway Jewett - EdiSES edizioni - due volumi

- A.Bertin, M. Poli, A. Vitale, Fondamenti di Termodinamica, Esculapio Editore (Progetto Leonardo), Bologna

Teaching methods

Lectures. A part of the lessons is dedicated to the discussion of questions and exercises in Thermodynamics and Electromagnetism.

Assessment methods

The learning assessment consists of a mandatory oral test aimed at assessing the level of knowledge of the subject. The written tests carried out by each student will be discussed during the oral test. During the oral test, the ability to carry out simple exercises will also be assessed.

Teaching tools

All the lectures will be accompained with slides in pdf format that can be downloaded from the Virtuale site

Office hours

See the website of Alessandro Gabrielli

See the website of Federica Primavera


Quality education Industry, innovation and infrastructure

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