58200 - Applied Physics

Course Unit Page


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

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

After completing this module the student knows the physical and methodological foundations of the scientific method for medical applications. In particular, he/she is able to: acquire the experimental data in biomedicine; analyze data and develop predictive models; verify experimentally the models.

Course contents

Scientific Method

  • Measurements and errors
    Introduction to the scientific method; physical quantities; direct and indirect measurements; units of measure; statistical and systematic errors; propagation of errors; precision and accuracy; dimensional analysis
  • Theories and models
    Analytical description of measures; laws of Nature; problem-solving methods in Physics; introduction to Classical Physics


  • Kinematics
    Position, distance and displacement; velocity; acceleration; uniform linear motion; uniformly accelerated motion; scalar and vector quantities; motion in two dimensions
  • Dynamics 
    Force and mass; Newtons’s three laws of motion; normal forces; frictional forces; ropes and springs; circular motion
  • Energy 
    Work; kinetic energy; conservative and non-conservative forces; potential energy; conservation of energy
  • Gravitation
    Newton’s law of universal gravitation; gravitational potential energy
  • Fluids
    Density; pressure; Archimedes’ principle; Bernoulli’s equation


    • Temperature and heat
      Temperature; heat; kinetic theory; phase transitions
    • Thermodynamics
      The three laws of thermodynamics; thermodynamic processes; heat engines; entropy


    • Electrostatics
      Electric charges; electrical insulators and conductors; Coulomb’s law; electric field; electric potential
    • Magnetism
      Magnetic field; magnetic forces; Ampère’s circuital law; Faraday’s law
    • Electromagnetic waves
      Production and propagation of electromagnetic waves; electromagnetic spectrum


    Recommended book:
    - Fisica generale: Principi e applicazioni, 3/e, Alan Giambattista web page

    - Fondamenti di Fisica 6/Ed. con MyLab, James S. Walker; Pearson
    - FISICA Principi e Applicazioni 2/Ed., Douglas C. Giancoli; Casa Editrice Ambrosiana
    - Elementi di Fisica in Medicina e Biologia, G. Castellani, D. Remondini; Ed. Bononia University Press

    Teaching methods

    Lectures with exercises on the topics covered.

    Assessment methods

    The assessment consists in a written examination. The test, lasting 2 hours, consists of solving 6 problems and answering to 2 open questions concerning the topics of the course program. The use of calculators and a formulary is allowed (the latter is avalible at Virtuale). Each problem will be rated from 0 to 5 points (0 if unsolved or totally wrong; from 1 to 4 points if partially solved; 5 points if correct). The open questions aim to further assess the knowledge of the topics covered in the program (including demonstrations) and the student's exhibition quality; they will be rated from 0 to 3 points (0 if no answer or totally wrong; 1 or 2 if the answer is correct but partial, 3 if the answer is correct and complete).

    "Lode" will be recognized if the final grade is greater than 30. If the grade is lower than 18, or the student decides not to accept it, the exam can be taken in any of the following sessions, without any restrictions. The final result is integrated with that of the Statistics test. The overall examination is considered passed if both tests are successful (that is, with a grade greater than 18).

    The FINAL SCORE of the integrated course will be calculated as arithmetic mean between the results of Applied Physics and Statistics tests (in the mean, 30 with "Lode" counts as 30); if the arithmetic mean is not an integer, the rounding will be carried out considering as predominant the test relative to the teaching with the greatest number of credits, that is Applied Physics.  "Lode" will be recognized if at least in one course the student gets honors and in both courses the score achieved is 30/30.

    The Professor who will verbalize the exam is the responsible of the Applied Physics course. To get the exam verbalized, it is sufficient for the student to communicate to the Professor that he/she accepts both the evaluations got in Applied Physics and Statistics.


    Teaching tools

    The slides of the lessons and other possible teaching materials are provided during the course at https://virtuale.unibo.it/course/view.php?id=30942

    Office hours

    See the website of Federico Marulli