Bases of applied physics (2012/2013)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Valerio Dallacasa
Valerio Dallacasa
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre dal Oct 1, 2012 al Jan 31, 2013.

Lesson timetable

I semestre
Day Time Type Place Note
Tuesday 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall Berni (Lebrecht)  
Tuesday 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall Berni (Lebrecht)  

Learning outcomes

This course aims at giving the basic knowledge of the concepts of mechanics, thermodynamics and electromagnetism to students and the capacity of using the laws of these phenomena in a predictive way. The aim of the course is also to furnish the fundamentals of the experimental method and the concepts by which students can autonomously attack problems involving such phenomena. The course comprises mathematical numerical exercises to allowing students to succesfully operate in the final exam.


Physical quantities and measure. Scalars and vectors. Kinematics of material points. Position, displacement, velocity and acceleration. Rectilinear and curvilinear motion. Vector character of kinematic quantities and Cartesian components. The time-varying trajectory. Uniformly accelerated motions. Circular motion. Curvilinear planar motion. Dynamics of the material point. Newton's law. Applications to motion on inclined planes,
gravitational motion. The universal law of gravitation. Forces of practical interest: gravity, friction. Energy and work. Kinetic energy. Theorem of kinetic energy. Conservative forces. Potential energy. Mechanical energy conservation. Internal and external forces. Action and reaction principle.

Fluids. Density. Pressure. Pascal' s law. Stevin's law. Archimedes' principle. Applications: floating in fluids, pressure in liquids, atmospheric pressure. Bernoulli's theorem for moving fluids. Applications: liquids through holes, venturimeter, force on aircrafts.
The notion of temperature. Dilation of bodies. Specific heat. Heat. Thermometers. State changes. Latent heat. Perfect gases. Law of gases.
Thermodynamics. Thermodynamic processes. The first law of thermodynamics. Examples of applications. Thermodynamic circles. Internal energy. Thermodynamic work. The entropy concept. Carnot' s circle. Circle efficiency. The absolute temperature. The absolute zero.

Electrical phenomena in matter: conductors and insulators. Electric charges. Coulomb' s
law. Electric field. Electric field of continuous and discrete charge distributions. Work of the electric field. Electrostatic potential. Electrostatic potential energy. Calculation of the electric potential of a system of charges. Motion of charges in electric fields. Conductors. Dielectrics. Stationary electric current. Charge conservation in stationary regime. Ohm' s
law. Resistance. Joule's effect. Electromotive force. Kirchhoff laws. Magnetism:phenomenology. Magnetic induction vector. Magnetic force on a moving charge and a current-carrying conductor. Magnetic field of a current-Biot&Savart law. Application to wires, coils, solenoids. Forces between electric currents. Time-varying magnetic fields - Faraday's-Lentz's law. Applications of Faraday's law. The principal optics phenomena. Reflection, refraction, mirrors, lenses. Total reflection. Basics of interference and diffraction

Assessment methods and criteria

The final examination will be conducted by a written elaborateof exercises on the diverse arguments treated in the course and a successive oral session at a student's request