88148 - General Physics P

Course Unit Page


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

Quality education Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Academic Year 2021/2022

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. Progressive, regressive and stationary. Huygens' principle, Young's interference and two-slit diffraction.


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.

Laboratory module

Theory - Introduction to the theory of measures; error propagation; random fluctuations and systematic effects; precision and accuracy; evaluation of the uncertainty of a result; Gauss distribution; binomial and Poisson distribution; linear correlation; notes on probability theory; statistical distributions; rejection of experimental measures.

Laboratory tests

Various experiences with Phyton modules to reproduce program topics: Interferences and Diffraction, data fit for exponential curves. The student will be guided on simulations of didactic experiences



- FISICA per Scienze ed Ingegneria - Fifth Edition

Serway Jewett - EdiSES edizioni - two volumes

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

J. R. Tayor "Introduzione all'analisi degli errori" Zanichelli.

Teaching methods

Lectures and laboratory experiences with Python simulations. A part of the lessons is dedicated to the discussion of questions and exercises in Thermodynamics and Electromagnetism. The student must know how to use the sw tools to study the exercises (for this he will be guided by a didactic tutor)

Assessment methods

Verification of learning consists of a compulsory oral exam aimed at assessing the degree of knowledge of the subject (12 points). The experiences made and any reports delivered by each student will be discussed during the oral exam (6 points each). During the oral exam the ability to carry out simple exercises will also be assessed (10 points). If the sum of the individual evaluations exceeds 30 points, the candidate will be awarded honors.

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