Physics 1 (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Pasquina Marzola
Pasquina Marzola
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
II semestre dal Mar 4, 2019 al Jun 14, 2019.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide students with an introduction to the experimental method and the basics of classical mechanics and thermodynamics.

Upon completion of the course:
students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the laws of classical mechanics and thermodynamics;
students will be able to apply the acquired knowledge and understanding skills to solve problems of mechanics and thermodynamics;
students will have the capability to apply the fundamental concepts of classical mechanics and thermodynamics to the resolution of practical problems that they will meet during forthcoming studies;
students will develop the skills required to continue the studies in an autonomous way in those disciplines pertaining to the graduation in Computer Science that require the application and knowledge of the laws of Physics;


1- Physics and measurement. Standards of lenght, mass and time. Dimensional analysis, Conversion of units. Vector and scalar quantities. Components of a vector and unit vectors. Properties of vectors. The scalar and vector products of two vectors.
2- Motion in one dimension. Position, velocity and speed. Particle under constant velocity. Acceleration. Motion diagrams. Particle under constant acceleration. Freely falling object. Motion in two dimensions. Position velocity and acceleration vectors. Two dimensional motion with constant acceleration. Projectile motion. Particle in uniform circular motion. Tangential and radial acceleration. Relative velocity and relative acceleration.
3- The Laws of Motion: The concept of force. Newton’s first law and inertial frames. Mass. Newton’s second law. The gravitational and electrostatic forces. The gravitational force and weight. Newton’s third law. Forces of friction. Newton’s second law for a particle under uniform circular motion. Non uniform circular motion. Motion in accelerated frames. Motion in the presence of resistive forces.
4- Energy and work. Work done by a constant force. Work done by a varying force. Kinetic energy and the work-kinetic energy theorem. Potential energy. Conservative and non conservative forces. Relationship between conservative forces and potential energy. Energy diagrams and equilibrium of a system. Conservation of energy for a non isolated system and for an isolated system. Situations involving kinetic friction. Changes in mechanical energy for non conservative forces. Power.
5- Linear momentum and collisions. Linear momentum and its conservation. Collisions in one dimension. Collisions in two dimensions. The center of mass. Systems of many particles. Rocket propulsion.
6- Rotation of a rigid object about a fixed axis. Angular position, velocity and acceleration. Rigid object under constant angular acceleration. Angular and translational quantities. Rotational kinetic energy. Moments of Inertia. Torque. Rigid object under a net torque. Energy consideration in rotational motion. Angular momentum. Angular momentum for a rigid object. Angular momentum for an isolated system.
7- Newton’s law of universal gravitation. Free-fall acceleration and the gravitational force. Kepler’s laws and the motion of planets. The gravitational field. Gravitational potential energy.
8- Fluid Mechanics. Pressure. Variation of pressure with depth. Pressure measurements. Archimede’s principle. Fluid dynamics. Bernoulli’s equation.
9- Oscillatory motion. Motion of an object attached to a spring. Particle in simple harmonic motion. Energy of the simple harmonic oscillator. Comparing simple harmonic motion with uniform circular motion. The pendulum. Damped and forced oscillations.
10- Thermodynamics. Temperature and the zeroth law of thermodynamics. Thermometers and the Celsius temperature scale. The constant-volume gas thermometer and the absolute temperature scale. Thermal expansion. Macroscopic description of an ideal gas. Heat and internal energy. Specific heat and calorimetry. Work and heat in thermodynamic processes. The first law of Thermodynamics. Heat engines and the second law of thermodynamics. Reversible and irreversible processes. The Carnot engine. Entropy.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Serway Jewett Fisica per Scienze ed Ingegneria volume primo (Edizione 5) EdiSES srl 2015 978-88-7959-834-7

Assessment methods and criteria

Written test consisting of exercises on the topics covered during the course and some multiple choice questions. The witten test can be followed by an oral exam (optional), which aims to acquire, if necessary, further elements for evaluation of students and eventually clarify aspects of the written test.