Academic Year 2020/2021 - 1° Year
Teaching Staff: Francesco CAPPUZZELLO
Credit Value: 9
Scientific field: FIS/07 - Applied physics
Taught classes: 63 hours
Term / Semester:

Learning Objectives

There will be lectures and application examples on specific topics.The wealth of knowledge provided to the student puts her/him in a position to deal with more specific courses of the curriculum; particular importance is given to the physical contribution in applications in the biomedical field presented in the program. After completing the course, the student will have learned the basics of the experimental method, the basic physical laws and will have got to know different applications of the same in fields related to the course of study.The formal correctness of the topics covered in the exposition is taken into particular consideration, in the context of mathematical knowledge acquired by students in previous courses. We pursue the following objectives: - knowledge and understanding about the foundations of physics - application knowledge about methodological and instrumental procedures also useful for biological research

Course Structure

Classroom lessons

Detailed Course Content


INTRODUCTION: Physical quantities. Units. Significant digits. Measurement error. Scalar and vector quantities. Operations with vectors. Components of a vector. Unit vectors.

KINEMATICS OF THE MATERIAL POINT: Material point. Vector position, displacement, average and instantaneous velocity and acceleration. Equation of motion.

THE DESCRIPTION OF MOTION: Motion with constant speed. Motion with constant acceleration. Parabolic motion. Uniform and non-uniform circular motion. General motion in two and three dimensions. Harmonic motion. Kinematic of relative motions. Composition laws for displacements, speeds and accelerations.

ELEMENTS OF DYNAMICS: The I principle of dynamics. Inertial reference systems and inertial mass. Force acting on a body. The II principle of dynamics. The III principle of dynamics. Momentum and theorem of momentum conservation. Isolated and non-isolated systems. Dynamic in non-inertial references and apparent forces.

EXAMPLES OF FORCES: Terrestrial gravity. Gravitational attraction. Static, dynamic and viscous friction forces. Elastic forces.

MATERIAL POINT DYNAMICS: Fundamental problem of material point dynamics. Motion of a point on an inclined plane. Motion of a point subject to elastic forces. Motion of a point in a viscous fluid and sedimentation. Speed of herythrocytes sedimentation (VES). Motion of a point subject to centripetal force. Speed of centrifugation of erythrocytes. Rotation dynamics. Momentum of a force. Angular momentum.

SYSTEMS OF MATERIAL POINTS: Internal forces and external forces. Cardinal equations of system dynamics. Center of mass theorem. Two-body system. Rigid body system.

STATIC OF MATERIAL BODIES: Statics of a material point. Static conditions of the rigid body. Levers. Examples of static of the human body (head, foot, arm, shoulder, trunk)

IMPULSE, WORK AND ENERGY: Impulse of a force. Impulse theorem. Work done by a force. Kinetic energy and kinetic energy theorem. Conservative forces. Potential energy. Examples of conservative and non-conservative forces. Mechanical energy conservation. Power and efficiency of a machine.

COLLISION DYNAMICS: Collisions. Impulsive forces and momentum conservation. Elastic and inelastic collisions.

ELASTICITY: Elastic body properties. Intermolecular forces. Deformations and intermolecular forces. Hooke law. Traction and compression. Volume deformation. Sliding deformation. Sliding and compressibility of bodies. Classification of solid, liquid and gaseous bodies.

SURFACE PHENOMENA: Cohesion and adhesion forces. Surface phenomena. Surface tension. Suspended bubbles. Meniscus. Capillarity phenomena. Pressure of a bubble or membrane. Law of Laplace. Balance of pulmonary alveoli. Gaseous embolism

FLUIDS: Viscosity of fluids. Real and ideal fluids. Statics of fluids. Pressure in fluids. Stevino's law. Pascal's law. Law of communicating vessels. Law of Archimedes. Barometer of Torricelli. Atmospheric pressure. Fluids dynamics. Stationary motion. Flow lines and tubes. Flow rate. Continuity theorem. Law of Leonardo. Bernoulli's theorem. Venturi tube. Torricelli's theorem. Laminar motion of a viscous fluid. Stokes's law. Poiseuille's law. Turbulent motion. Dynamics of blood circulation. Blood flow. Blood vessels. Stenosis and aneurysm. Pressure in blood vessels. Blood pressure measurement. Work and heart power. Blood viscosity anomalies.

WAVE DYNAMICS: Wave classifications. Vibrant rope. The wave equation. D'alembert's solution. Progressive and regressive waves. Sinusoidal waves. Energy carried by the wave. Overlap principle. Interference. Stationary waves. Elastic waves. Acustic waves. Distinctive characters of sounds. Sensitivity of the human ear. Accords. Sound intensity. Timbre. How the human ear works. External, medium and internal ear.

TEMPERATURE AND HEAT: Many-body systems. Thermal expansion of solids, liquids and gases. Thermal balance. Law of perfect gases. Thermometers and temperature scales. Specific heat, amount of heat and thermal capacity. Adiabatic processes. Latent heat and phase changes. Heat measurement. Reaction heat and calorific power. Heat transmission by conduction, convection and radiation.

IDEAL GASES: State of a gas. Perfect gases. Perfect gas status equation. Kinetic gas theory. Pressure and temperature of a gas.

THERMODYNAMIC SYSTEMS: Balance of a thermodynamic system. Reversible and irreversible transformations. Work by pressure forces work. Equivalence principle. The first principle of thermodynamics. Internal energy. Isobare, isocore, isotherm and adiabatic transformations. Perfect gas-specific heats. Hints of human metabolism.

ELECTRIC CHARGE, ELECTROSTATIC FIELD AND POTENTIAL: The electric charge. Conductors and insulants. The Coulomb's law. The electrostatic field. Force lines. Electrostatic potential and potential energy. Electrostatic capacity.

ELETTRIC CURRENT: Ohm's electrical current. Resistance and Ohm's laws, model for electrical conduction. Energy and electrical power.

MAGNETIC FIELDS: Motion of a particle charged in a magnetic field. Magnetic force on a conductor crossed by electic current. Magnetic field produced by a current. The law of Biot-Savart. The law of Faraday and induction. Energy density in a magnetic field

ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES: Electromagnetic waves. Energy carried by electromagnetic waves. The spectrum of electromagnetic waves.

GEOMETRICAL OPTICS: Reflection, refraction and scattering of light. Total reflection. Optical fibers. Lenses and image formations.


HUMAN STATICS: Applying the laws of static to the human body. Static head, foot, arm, shoulder and torso.

ELASTIC WAVES: Applying wave mechanics to the functioning of the human ear. External, medium and internal ear.

SURFACE PHENOMENA: Application of Laplace's law to the balance of pulmonary alveoli.

FLUIDS MECHANICS: Hydrodynamic circuit of blood, work and heart power. Aneurysm and stenosis, gaseous embolism. Speed of erythrocyte sedimentation. Centrifuge.

ELECTRIC PHENOMENA: The propagation of nerve impulses in myelin and amielinic fibers.

ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES AND RADIATION: Vision optics. Magnifying glass and optical microscope. Electromagnetic fields and effects on human health.

Textbook Information

  1. Slides from the Professor
  2. A. Lascialfari, F. Borsa: Principi di Fisica per indirizzo biomedico e farmaceutico, EdiSES, 2014
  3. S. Rosati; Fisica generale volume 1, Feltrinelli, 1994
  4. Jewett&Serway: Principi di Fisica, Vol I, V edizione, EdiSES, 2015
  5. E. Ragozzino: Principi di Fisica, EdiSES, 2006
  6. D. Halliday, R. Resnick, J. Walker: Fondamenti di Fisica – vol. 1, VI ed., CEA
  7. D. Halliday, R. Resnick, J. Walker: Fondamenti di Fisica – vol. 2, VI ed., CEA