30780 - General Physics T

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

To assimilate basic concepts of General Physics (with special regard to Newtonian Mechanics and to the Principles of Thermodynamics) and their treatment by means of mathematical analysis, vector algebra and integral calculus. To acquire the scientific-technical methodology which is necessary for quantitative problem-solving in physics.

Course contents

Mechanics program

Elements of vector algebra.

Kinematics.- Point particles and reference frames. Position, velocity and acceleration vectors. Rectilinear motions. Uniform circular motion. Simple and damped harmonic motion. Applications to kinematics of particle systems: the fundamental formula of the rigid body kinematics. Angular velocity. Kinematics of relative motions: transfer of displacements, velocity, acceleration within reference frames in relative motion.

Dynamics.- Different types of force. Static measurement of a force. General concepts of statics and of friction phenomena. First and second law of dynamics. Inertial mass. Impulse and linear momentum. Newton's law on gravitation. The main problem of dynamics. The third law of dynamics. Applications to dynamics of particle systems. Linear and angular momentum conservation. Collision problems. The cardinal equations of dynamics. Center of mass and its properties. Moments of inertia. The Huygens – Steiner's theorem. Rotational inertia.

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. Positional and conservative forces. Conditions to be fulfilled for a force field to be conservative. Potentials and potential energies. Conservation of mechanical energy. Different types of equilibrium.

Thermodynamics program

Thermodynamic state. Pressure. Temperature. Ideal gas. Quasistatic, reversible and irreversible processe. First law of Thermodynamics. Isochoric, isobaric and adiabatic processes. Second law of Thermodynamics. Carnot cycle. Thermodynamics temperature. Entropy.


Notes from the lessons (the slides are available on the course page at virtuale.unibo.it)

P. Mazzoldi, M. Nigro, C. Voci, Elementi di Fisica Vol.1 - Meccanica e Termodinamica, ISBN 9788879594189, EdiSES, Napoli

P. Mazzoldi, M. Nigro, C. Voci, Fisica Vol.1, ISBN 8879591371, EdiSES, Napoli

L. Duò, P. Taroni, Fisica - Meccanica e Termodinamica, ISBN 9788836230280, EdiSES, Napoli

Teaching methods

Frontal didactics.

Assessment methods

The examination consists of a written test and of a subsequent oral discussion.

Teaching tools

Overhead projector.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Roberto Donà