cod. 1004191

Academic year 2010/11
1° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Fisica sperimentale (FIS/01)
Sperimentale e applicativo
Type of training activity
96 hours
of face-to-face activities
12 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit
in - - -

Learning objectives

Acquirement of basic measurement techniques and methodologies for experiments in Mechanics and Calorimetry, including software for data acquisition and analysis. Theory of errors and basics of probability theory. Acquirement of measurement techniques and methodologies concerning the proposed experiments.


Some basic concepts of math: algebra, trigonometry, analytic geometry, differential and integral calculus.
Some basic concepts in physics: kinematics and dynamics of material point, calorimetry.

Course unit content

Metrology: base and derived physic quantities, units of measurements in mechanics, measuring instruments, characteristic of measuring instruments (accuracy, precision, promptness, dynamic range), graph representations of data.
Uncertainty in measurements: systematic and casual errors, uncertainty propagation in indirect measurements, statistical methods in data treatment, random variables, frequency distributions, bad data treatment, weighted mean, gaussian distribution.
Correlation coefficient, best fitting and regression, chi-squared tests.
Basics of theory of probability: statistics and probability, stochastic variables, discrete and continue events, events and sample spaces, dependent and independent events, conditional probability, probability distributions (Normal, Binomial, Poisson, etc.), estimators and their properties, distribution functions and probability density functions, law of very large numbers, central limit theorem.
The laboratory experiments will be defined with reference to the topics treated in the Course of Physics 1 and will cover the following subjects:

- free body fall
- motion of rigid bodies
- motion of pendulum
- harmonic oscillations
- fluid mechanics
- waves in continuum media
- calorimetry

Full programme

- - -


1. J.R. Taylor, Introduzione all'Analisi degli Errori, Ed. Zanichelli, Bologna, 2° ed., 2000.
2. M. Loreti, Teoria degli errori e fondamenti di statistica, (2005).
3. Subsidiary material provided by the teacher.
For further insights: R. Scozzafava, “Primi passi in probabilità e statistica”, Ed. Zanichelli, Bologna, 2° ed., 2000.

Teaching methods

Oral lesson and laboratory. Lectures, laboratory exercises, lectures on computer (software facilities, scientific computing, acquisition and treatment of data, experiment simulations).

Assessment methods and criteria

In Itinere evaluations. Joined oral and written exam.
The laboratory work is accounted for by written reports, one for each weekly laboratory experiment. During the course, some written exercises concerning the theory and the laboratory experiences are proposed. At the end of the course an oral and written examination and, in case of not positive evaluation during the course, a laboratory experience is required.

Other information

The course is split up into two periods: 3 CFU in the first semester and 9 CFU in the second semester. There is a single final exam at the end of the second semester.
Office hours: Wednesday, 10.30-11.30 or upon appointment.