Physics I with laboratory (2019/2020)

Course code
Gino Mariotto
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Teaching is organised as follows:
Activity Credits Period Academic staff Timetable
Teoria 9 II semestre Gino Mariotto

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Laboratorio [1° turno] 2 II semestre Nicola Daldosso

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Laboratorio [2° turno] 2 not yet allocated Nicola Daldosso

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Teoria di laboratorio 1 II semestre Nicola Daldosso

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Learning outcomes

The teaching course of Physics I with Laboratory contributes to the achievement of the training objectives of the three year degree in Applied Mathematics by providing: - the basic elements of the scientific method, even with the help of laboratory experiments, in order to show that physics is a quantitative science based on the measurement of physical quantities; - the basic knowledge of classical mechanics of the particle, of the particle systems and of the rigid body; - the guidelines useful for the resolution of exercises and problems of classical mechanics. At the end of the course, the student must demonstrate to: - have adequate abilities to analyse and to abstract typical physical situations of the particle mechanics, of the particle systems and of the rigid body; - be able to produce rigorous proofs, and mathematically formalize problems of the particle mechanics, of the particle systems and of the rigid body formulated in natural language; - have the ability to build and develop mathematical models for physics and analyse their application limits. - be able to set up and perform some simple experiments for the measure of various physical quantities and the subsequent representation (histograms and graphs) as well as the analysis of the collected data.


The teaching course of Physics I with Laboratory consists of two distinct modules, a Theory module (9 CFUs) and a Laboratory module (3 CFUs), delivered in a coordinated and functional way to ensure the student learning within the lesson schedule.
The Theory module provides basic knowledge of Classical Mechanics through the derivation of the laws and principles governing the motion of the bodies, as well as the elements useful for resolving exercises and problems of the particle dynamics, of the dynamics of particle systems and of the rigid body. The main topics covered in this module are: Physical quantities and their measurement. Dimensional analysis. Kinematics of the particle: reference frames, displacement, velocity and acceleration vectors. One- dimensional motion. Motions in two and three dimensions. Relative motions. Principle of classic relativity. Dynamics of the particle. Newton’s law and its applications. Work and energy. Conservation of mechanical energy. Dynamics of particle systems. Collision’s dynamics. Dynamics of rigid body (hints).
The Laboratory module aims at providing the essential elements of the experimental method, demonstrating that physics is a quantitative science based on measurement of physical quantities and on the evaluation of the measurement uncertainties due to instrument resolution and random errors. The main topics covered in this module are the basics of the experimental method and the theory of measurement errors applied to the analysis of experimental data related to some simple experiments (such as measurement with different length tools, oscillation period of a pendulum simple, verification of elastic stretching law).

The recommended reference texts and the bibliography useful to preparing the final exam are:

A) Theory Module:

U. Gasparini, M. Margoni, F. Simonetto
Fisica. Meccanica e Termodinamica
Casa Editrice Piccin, Padova 2019 (I edizione)
ISBN 978-88-299-2972-6

P. Mazzoldi, M. Nigro, C. Voci
Fisica - Vol. 1: Meccanica – Termodinamica
EdiSES s.r.l., Napoli (Seconda edizione, ultima ristampa)
ISBN 88 7959 137 1

G. Mazzoldi, A. Saggion, C. Voci
Problemi di Fisica Generale: Meccanica e Termodinamica
Edizioni Libreria Cortina, Padova 1994 (ultima ristampa)

B) Laboratory Module

John R. Taylor
Introduzione all'analisi degli errori (lo studio delle incertezze nelle misure fisiche) (Edizione 2)
Zanichelli, 1999

Some notes and exercises useful for preparing for the final exam will be available on the web page:

The didactic methods of the teaching course of Physics I with Laboratory are differentiated for the two modules.
The Theory module, which is articulated in lessons and frontal exercises, is entirely delivered in the classroom. In order to help the student in the understanding and learning of the laws and principles of classical mechanics, systematic reference to phenomenology will be made during the frontal lessons. The course is supplemented by the solution in classroom of exercises and problems (kinematics and dynamics) in order to help the student to face and pass the written test of the final exam. In addition to the hours of the theory module, a tutorial activity is provided frontally in the classroom and specifically devoted to recalls and complements of analysis and vector geometry as well as to resolution of additional exercises and problems. Finally, in order to allow the student to verify his level of learning, a written test of "in-itinere" assessment, focused on the kinematics and dynamics of particle, is also scheduled.
The Laboratory module is divided into a part of lessons on the chalkboard about the experimental method and theory of the measurement errors, and a second part consisting of the experiments carried out by the students in the laboratory, for which there is a requirement for frequency. Laboratory activities are organized in groups of 4 students each and concern the execution of simple experiments involving the measurement of physical quantities, the analysis of collected data and the processing of related errors as well as the elaboration of a relationship with the discussion of the experiment results.

Assessment methods and criteria

The examination of the teaching course of Physics I with Laboratory consists of a series of independent knowledge verifications for the two modules of Theory and of Laboratory, for each of which the evaluation is in thirty and will contribute to determining the overall rating according to the weight criterion based on the CFUs number of the specific module.

A) Theory Course:
The final exam consists of both a written test and an oral interview, to which the student is admitted after having overcome the written test. The written test is considered to be overcome when the related vote achieved by the student is not less than 18/30. Examination methods for the theory module are the same for attending and non-attending students.
The two written and oral tests are aimed at ascertaining the level of knowledge acquired by the student within the theory teaching module:
The written test concerns the resolution of some typical problems of mechanics of the particle, of particle systems, and of the rigid body, which include the application of laws and derived principles (both enunciated and demonstrated) during frontal lessons and systematically recalled during classroom exercises. Part of the written test may be carried out by passing the “in-itinere” assessment test.
The oral examination consists of an interview with questions about the classroom developed program related to the derivation of physical laws and the demonstration of the theorems and conservation principles of the particle dynamics, of particle systems and of the rigid body.
For the theoretical module, a cumulative evaluation is obtained by making the arithmetic mean of the evaluations obtained in both written and oral tests exceeded.

B) Laboratory Course:
For the lab module, an ongoing and a final group’s report on the simple pendulum experiment is evaluated, the evaluation being also expressed in thirty.

The overall assessment of the examination of the teaching course of Physics I with laboratory will be the average, weighted on the number of the module CFUs, of the marks achieved in the assessment tests for each of the two modules (Theory and Laboratory).