cod. 1002191

Academic year 2019/20
1° year of course - Second semester
Roberto DE RENZI
Academic discipline
Fisica sperimentale (FIS/01)
Fisica e chimica
Type of training activity
72 hours
of face-to-face activities
9 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

To learn the laws of classical physics at an elementary level.
To develop skills in order to:
- understand the description of simple physics problems
- apply the knowledge of the laws of physics to address the solution of these problems
- make judgements on the relevant approximations
- obtain the solutions by means of simple mathematical calculations.
This course refines communication skils, learning skills and the process of making judgements through the integrated use of tutorials and 88 graded on-line multiple choice questions


Basic matematical skills: trigonometry, elementary geometry, simple functions, their derivatives and integrals.

Course unit content

This course introduces the laws of Mechanics, Waves and Thermodynamics at an elementary level according to the following schedule:
The first part deals with Mechanics. The second part introduces oscillations, waves and Thermodynamics. The full course consists of 23 two-hour lectures, following the same approach of many undergraduate American textbooks.

Full programme

see the course web pages


Elementary american textbooks like

Gettys, Keller, Skove, McGraw Hill

Halliday Resnick Krane
o Halliday Resnick Walker, Wileys

Textbooks of this category may differ in the distribution of the topics among their volumes.
Apert from this practical aspect they are all adequate for the course.

Additional material available:
- the course slides
- a course wiki
- the tutorial problems with solutions
a repository of 88 short questions
a few videos on the solution of crucial problems

Teaching methods

46 hours of lectures and 44 hours of tutored problem solving.

Pdf course slides in Italian are available in the 2012-13 version. This allows a preview of the content as well as easier note-taking on the slides, for those who wish to. They are just an aid for the lectures, not a substitute for the textbook.

Further 22 two-hour sessions are dedicated to problem solving with tutors (IDEA project). The problems are available in advance in pdf format. A lecture and its problem session are generally two days apart, to allow reviewing the material.

In order to pass the written paper make sure you can solve on your own all the available problems, without using the textbook and the notes. 88 on-line multiple choice questions lead to an additional grading.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam may be passed following two routes:
- THE suggested route consists of wo written papers during the course, plus an oral exaination, optional or compulsory, depending on the paper marks. If no paper is failed and the average marks is at least 21/30 these marks can be directly registered. Alternatively, the average of the final marks, the marks of the passed paper and the oral exam marks is registered.
In this mode up to 2/30 can be additionally obtained from th completion of 88 short problems available on the elly website of the course

Details (a FAQ) on the evaluation criteria are available on the same webpages.
- The alternative route is by a single final paper plus an oral exam, to be passed in one of the seven available session (see
All exams, both written and oral, consist in solving problems similar to those that have been discussed during the 22 course tutorials.

Other information

Further suggestions on prerequisites, detailed program, the exam and the course material are found on the course web-site