28626 - General Physics T-A

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

The student acquires and consolidates the basic concepts of general physics in the language of the mathematical analysis, of the vector and integral calculus . Also acquires the scientific-technical methodology required to deal with the problems of physics in quantitative terms, with particular regard to classical mechanics.

Course contents

Mathematical introduction and basic vector algebra. Scientific method, physical quantity. SI units and dimensions. Elements of probability and theory of statistics. Functions of two variables. Vector algebra. Resultant vector.  Polar moment of a vector. Vectors system. Orthogonal reference systems. Cartesian coordinates. Polar , spherical and cylindrical coordinates. Derivative of a unit vector. Derivative of a vector . Scalar and vector fields. Differential calculus : gradient, divergence and curl of a vector field. Vector integral calculus : line integral and circulation of a vector field. Flux of a vector field. Conservative vector fields

Kinematics .- Particles and reference frames. Displacement, velocity and acceleration vectors. Rectilinear motions. Uniform circular motion. Simple and damped harmonic motion. Application to the kinematics of particle systems: the main formula of rigid body kinematics. Angular velocity. Kinematics of relative motions: transformation  of displacements, velocities and accelerations.

Dynamics .- Active and vinculum forces, static measurement of forces. Elements of statics (main equations, center of mass) and on friction phenomena. First and second law of dynamics. Inertial mass. Impulse and linear momentum.  The basic problem of dynamics. Insulated systems. The third law of dynamics. Applications to the dynamics of rigid bodies.Conservation of linear and angular momentum. Collision problems. The main equations of dynamics. Center of mass and its properties. Moments of inertia. The Huygens-Steiner theorem. Inertial rotation.

Work and energy .- Work of one force and of a system of forces.The work-energy theorem. The Koenig's theorem. Properties of kinetic energy. Work done by the weight force. Positional and conservative forces. Conditions satisfied by a conservative field of force. Potentials and potential energies. The conservation of mechanical energy.

Law of universal gravitation : Keplero laws, Newton's law on gravitation. Gravitational mass.Acceleration of gravity on the surface of the earth. Speed escape from earth. Gravitational potential energy .Gauss theorem.


Further information .- The course demands that the student become familiar with the indispensable elements of mathematcial analysis and calculus (such as derivations, integrations and limits of functions of one or more variables).


Recommended readings:

- A. Bertin, M. Poli, A. Vitale, Fondamenti di Meccanica, Esculapio Editore

-    Focardi, Massa, Uguzzoni

-    Halliday Resnick

-    Alonso Finn

-    Mazzoldi, Nigro, Voci

-    Rosati

-    Serway & Jewett

Exercise books:

A. Bertin, S. De Castro, N., Semprini Cesari, A. Vitale, A. Zoccoli, Problemi d'Esame di Fisica Generale, Esculapio Editore (Progetto Leonardo), Bologna.

more recommended readings:

 Halliday Resnick, Alonso Finn, Mazzoldi Nigro Voci and Rosati exercise book and  Shaum's exercise books 

Teaching methods

The course will take place during the first semester and it represents the first part of the integrated course of Fisica Generale T.C.I.  for an amount of 12 cfu ( course credits ). The second module, Fisica Generale T-B, will take place in the second semester. Each of the two courses is of 6 cfu. The course of Fisica Generale T-A  is organized in frontal lessons in classroom where first of all the theoretical aspects of the treated arguments are introduced. In particular, after the of the basic notions of kinematics , the main theorems and results in the field of the dynamics of  a single body and of a systems of bodies, with particular attention to the rigid bodies, will be enunciated. Later on some time will be dedicated to the application of the introduced notions and to the resolution of the exercises.

Attendance is recommended for better learning of concepts and concepts but does not affect the final evaluation process.

Assessment methods

The examination consists of a final two hours written test and of a further oral exam. During the written examination the use of books, notes and  of a pocket calculator is permitted, while the use of computers, wireless devices, mobile phones and the consultation of exercises with solution is forbidden.

The written test consists of thirty closed-ended questions, and for the most part it involves solving numerical exercises.

Please note: due to Covid19 prevention measures, it could become necessary to carry out the examinations remotely. In this occurrence the number of questions and the time available to carry out the written test could be halved. 

In order to be admitted to the oral examination, a positive judgement in the written exam must be achieved, that is to say a score  greater or equal to 18/30. The oral examination aims to  verify the student's basic knowledge and the understanding of the several theoretical aspects of the discipline acquired during the course. It starts with a close look at the written one.

The final mark in Fisica Generale TA is calculated as the arithmetic average, rounded up, of the written and oral examination marks.

The final grade of the integrated course in Fisica Generale T C.I. (12 cfu) will be the arithmetic average, rounded up, of the marks obtained at Fisica Generale T-A and at Fisica Generale T-B.

The written exams calendar will be available in advance on the on line University of Bologna course platform teacher’s home page (https://virtuale.unibo.it/).

Students wishing to take the written exam must first register in the list  available online at https://almaesami.unibo.it/almaesami/welcome.htm.

On the day of the exams they must show a valid identification document.

Teaching tools

- Tutor assistance.

- Notices and communications to students and copies of the lesson slides will be posted on the on line Virtuale ( https://virtuale.unibo.it/) course platform teacher’s home page.

The lessons use visual integrative tools based on projector slide projections.

Please note: due to Covid19 prevention measures, it could become necessary to carry out remotely the course lessons on  the Virtuale  course platform ( https://virtuale.unibo.it/).

Any tools for students with disabilities can be agreed with the Student Service with DSA.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Stefano Zucchelli