Academic year: 2022-23
Course: Foundation Course Science
Credits: 9
Period: First and second semester

Number of hours: 72

Teacher(s): Sergio Betti (

Language of instruction: English


Learning Outcomes

The students who successfully comple the course will have the necessary
methodological bases in the Physics field to face the study of scientific
subjects at a university level.


Elementary Mathematics (Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry).

Teaching Methods

Lectures, exercises in class, homework will also be discussed during class.


Kinematics, dynamics and Motion description,Acceleration and velocity, graphical representation of trajectory, angular and tangent velocity, angular acceleration, simple harmonic motion. Motion on a
staright line, gravitational acceleration, free fall motion. Simple two
dimensional motions (for example, circular motion at a constant speed, and the
motion of a bullet); centripetal acceleration.

Newton laws of dynamics. Equilibrium of a rigid body (forces and torques)
with applications: inclined plane, lever, pulley, winch; Hooke’s law; Friction
forces; Motion of the center of mass of a rigid body. Momentum, force impulse,
Newton’s second law as a momentum change. Work. Power. Kinetic Energy.
Conservative forces. Gravitation potential energy, elastic potential energy.
Conservation of energy and momentum. Elastic and an elastic scattering (simple
scattering, scattering from a wall), Theory of Gravitation, forces and
potential energy, acceleration at the surface of a planet, motion of planets
and satellites.

Relevant physical quantities: density, pressure (in liquids and gases) flux,
flow. Hydrostatics of fluids: Pascal, Stevin, Archimedes principles. Equation
of continuity. Torricelli’s pronciple, and Bernoulli’s equation.

Ideal gas laws. The equation of state for an ideal gas. Pressure and the
internal energy of an ideal monatomic gas. Thermodynamic temperature. Heat,
specific heat, heat capacity. Phase transition and latent heat. The first
principle of Thermodynamics. The definition of efficiency for heat engines,
Carnot cycle.

Electrical currents,
Electric charge. Coulomb’s law and the electrical field: electric flux, Gauss’
theorem (for example: point charge, charged sphere, charged plane). Motion of
point charges in a constant electrical field. Electrical conductors and electrical
induction. Electrostatic potential, equipotential surfaces. Potential energy of
a uniform electric field and of two point charges. Charge distribution, field
and potential for conductor in electrostatic equilibrium. Electrical
capacitance, condensers (parallel and series condensers). Electrical current,
charge motion, Ohm laws. Electric resistance, resistors (parallel and series).
Electromotive force, internal resistance. Joule effect. Wave and oscillations,
geometrical optics

Harmonic motion
Period, frequency, amplitude. Waves: amplitude, frequency, wavelength,
speed. Superposition principle and interference for harmonic waves. Stationary

Energy density and wave intensity, decrease with the distance for point sources
in a spherical wave. Diffraction. Reflection and refraction. Snell and
refractive index, total internal reflection. Plane and spherical mirrors:
geometry of imaging. Thin lens: geometry of imaging.


Serway -Physics for scientists and engineers

Assessment methods

Written and/or oral test


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