cod. 1002191

Academic year 2017/18
1° year of course - Second semester
Professor responsible for the course unit
integrated course unit
9 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Course unit structured in the following modules:

Learning objectives

The course aims to provide the student with the basic notions of classical mechanics and thermodynamics. These notions, also illustrated by a large number of examples, will allow him to set up and solve simple problems and to understand some of the fundamental properties of matter derived from the laws studied.
In particular
Knowledge and understanding
- to know and understand the terminology used in the field of point mechanics, material point systems, rigid bodies, waves and thermodynamics
- knowledge of fundamental laws and natural principles governing mechanics and transformations in thermodynamics.
- knowledge of strategies to find specific solutions to simple kinematic, dynamic and thermodynamic problems.
Applying knowledge and understanding
- Resolutions of simple problems both in analytical and numerical terms relating to the mechanics of point particles and extended bodies, and the thermodynamic processes.
Communication skills
- development of a correct, rigorous and comprehensible scientific language that allows to expose clearly the knowledge and the strategies learned during the course.
Making judgments
- Ability to critically evaluate the results obtained in dealing with problems.
- Ability to make simple appropriate observations and to give possible descriptions in concrete situations close to those being dealt with in the course
Learning Skills
- the ability to apply the acquired knowledge to solve original problems inherent in mechanics and thermodynamics


The course is calculus based.
The course of Mathematical Analysis should be previously attended.
In particular
knowledge of basic trigonometry, equations and systems of first and second order, exponentials and logarithmic funtions, functions of real variable, limits, derivates and integrals.
A lesson on the basics in vector calculus will be presented in a lesson at the beginning of the course.

Course unit content

Physical quantities
Kinematics of point particles.
Dynamics of point particles
Work and energy
Dynamics of rotational motion
Rotation of rigid bodies
Fluid mechanics
Mechanical waves

Temperature and heat
First law of thermodynamics
Second law of thermodynamics

Full programme

Physical quantities. Standard and units, unit consistency; Errors, significant figures
Vectors: Scalars and Vectors, Vectors Operation, Overlapping Principle, Derivative of a Vector
Particle point kinematics. Vectors position, displacement, velocity and acceleration; Radial and tangential acceleration; Classification of motions: motions; Motions in 1D (constant speed, constant acceleration, harmonic oscillations), motions in two dimensions (projectile motion, motion in a circle); Reference systems.
Particle Point Dynamics. Newton's laws; weight, normal forces and frictional forces, elastic force; Dynamics of circular motion; Inertial and non-inertial reference systems.
Energy and work. The work of a force, the power; Examples of work of constant and varying forces; Conservative forces and potential energy; kinetic energy; work-energy theorem; Conservation of mechanical energy.
Momentum and impulse; particle systems; momentum conservation; center of mass, the motion of the mass center; collisions.
Dynamics of rotational motion of a particle. Torque, Angular momentum, Newton's second law, angular momentum theorem, kinetic energy of a rotating material point, generalizations to particle systems.
Rigid Body Dynamics. Rigid bodies; Translational motion of a rigid body, position of the center of mass; Rotational motion of a rigid body around a fixed axis; Moment of inertia and parallel axis theorem; Rotational kinetic energy and work; rolling without sliding motions, the conservation of the angular momentum.
Equilibrium of a rigid body. Solving rigid body equilibrium problems.
Newton's law of gravitation. Gravitational force and gravitational field; The gravitational potential energy; The Kepler’s laws
Fluid mechanics. Pressure and Density, Stevin's Law, Buoyancy, Bernoulli's equation.
Mechanical waves: types of mechanical waves, superposition and wave interference, waves on a strings, mathematical description of a wave, standing waves on a string, beats.
Thermodynamics. Thermodynamic systems; Temperature and thermometers; ideal gas law; Thermodynamic work, heat and laws of thermodynamics (zeroth, first and second law); Thermodynamic processes; heat capacitance and calorimetry; Carnot cycle, heat engines and refrigerators, efficiency and coefficient of performance; entropy.


Suggested textbooks

Gettys - Fisica 1 - McGraw Hill Quinta Edizione

Walker - Halliday-Resnick-Fondamenti di Fisica - CEA Settima Edizione (vol. primo - Meccanica - Termologia)
Halliday-Resnick-Krane - Fisica 1 - CEA Quinta edizione

Focardi-Massa-Uguzzoni - Fisica Generale - CEA Vol. Meccanica/Termodinamica e fluidi

Mazzoldi-Nigro-Voci - Elementi di Fisica Meccanica Termodinamica - Edises Seconda Edizione
Mazzoldi-Nigro-Voci - Fisica Vol.1 - Edises

Any other text for University Physics (for Degree in Engineering or Physics) can also be considered valid for the purpose of preparation. If in doubt ask the teacher.

Teaching methods

Lectures are highly recommended. Many examples will be discussed during the course. Exercise sessions will be held during the course.

Assessment methods and criteria

Two written partial tests of which the first one during the year (duration 1h20 ') or written test on the whole program alternatively (duration 2h).
Written tests will present both numerical or literal exercises and theoretical questions.
With a total score above 18/30 you will have the opportunity to immediately accept the proposed mark (oral exam at the discretion of the student who intends to improve the mark).
With a lower grade in the 18/30 written exam, but no less than 12/30, the student will be provisionally admitted to the oral test. Provisional admission means that after the written test is assessed, despite the non-achievement of the minimum requirements for verbalization, it is also possible to access the oral examination: the teacher will check the student's actual preparation through the usual questions about "Theory" as well as possibly, if deemed necessary, with the support of short written exercises (it is clear that without having the comfort of the written test the student MUST necessarily achieve the minimum proficiency level).

Other information

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