Bases of applied physics (2013/2014)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Federico Boschi
Federico Boschi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre dal Oct 1, 2013 al Jan 31, 2014.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

This course aims at giving the basic knowledge of the concepts of mechanics, thermodynamics electromagnetism and optical 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 successfully operate in the final exam.


Physical quantities and measure. Scalars and vectors. Derivative of a function, differentiation of simple functions. Fermat’s theroem and Rolle’s theorem.
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. Action and reaction principle. 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. Power.

Fluids. Pressure. Density. Stevin's law, Torricelli’s barometer, Archimedes' principle. Applications: floating in fluids, pressure in liquids, atmospheric pressure. Bernoulli's theorem for moving fluids. Applications: liquids through holes (Torricelli’s theorem), Venturimeter, force on aircrafts. Stoke’s force, viscosity.

The notion of temperature. Dilation of bodies (linear, superficial, volume). Thermic equililbrium, zero’s law of thermodynamics. T Specific heat. Heat. Thermometers. The absolute temperature. The absolute zero. State changes. Latent heat. Perfect gases. Law of gases. Thermometers.
Thermodynamics. Thermodynamic processes. The first law of thermodynamics. The second law of thermodynamics .Examples of applications. Thermodynamic circles. Internal energy. Thermodynamic work. Carnot' s circle. Circle efficiency. Refrigerator
Convection, conduction, irradiation.

Electrical phenomena in matter: conductors and insulators. Electric charges. Coulomb' s
law. Electric field. 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' slaw. Resistance. Joule's effect. Electromotive force. Kirchhoff laws.
Magnetism: phenomenology. Magnetic induction vector. Magnetic force on a moving charge and a current-carrying conductor. Application to wires, coils, solenoids. Forces between electric currents.

The principal optics phenomena. Reflection, concave and convex mirrors. Refraction, lenses, Lensmaker's equation.

Assessment methods and criteria

The final examination is conducted by a written elaborate of exercises on the diverse arguments treated in the course.