Physics

Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL SCIENCES
Academyc year when starting the degree: 
2019/2020
Year: 
1
Academyc year when helding the course: 
2019/2020
Course type: 
Basic compulsory subjects
Language: 
Italian
Credits: 
6
Period: 
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
48
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (48 hours)
Requirements: 

None. No specific prerequisites are required

Final Examination: 
Orale

The objective of the final exam is to verify the level of achievement of the educational objectives, evaluating in the first place the possession of the basic cognitive elements and therefore the student's ability to use them autonomously for the resolution of real problems. The exam topics will be coherent with the types of topics and the methods of study and analysis related to the topics covered
Oral examination, aimed to assess the knowledge acquired and the understanding of the fundamental aspects discussed during the course.
18/30: preparation of a thesis concerning the course topics. Basic knowledge of the topics
30/30: preparation of a thesis on the topics of the course. Demonstrated knowledge of scientific language, research and in-depth analysis of topics with the use of graphics, diagrams and images

Assessment: 
Voto Finale

The course aims to provide the student with the knowledge and skills required to take on the study of Physics, allowing the student to acquire a rigorous scientific method of reasoning and being able to apply the method throughout the course of studies, use the knowledge and skills acquired, with the development of application capabilities to problem solving. In particular, the student will acquire knowledge of the main laws of classical physics, according to the traditional articulation in the great chapters of Mechanics, Thermodynamics and Electromagnetism, and practical ability to solve problems. Knowledge of fluid dynamics, including viscous matter. Knowledge of the role of the physical laws in some processes of the Earth System.

The student will develop specific competences related to the development of communication skills, a deeper knowledge of the scientific language and the skills of learning and individual judgment

Theoretical and practical knowledge of the course will be acquired through the following program:
Part I

Global environmental changes
Climate change and the greenhouse effect. Loss of biological diversity.
Deforestation. Desertification. Deprivation of the fresh water sources. Deprivation of the fossil energy sources. Air and water pollution. Physics of the greenhouse effect.

The impact of global environmental changes on the biosphere
Climate change, loss of biological diversity forestry.
Climate change and water resources.
Possible feedbacks amplifying and decreasing the greenhouse effect.

Part II

Mechanics
Kinematics of uniform rectilinear motion.
Kinematics of non-uniform rectilinear motion.
Kinematics in two and three dimensions.
Dynamics and Newton’s laws. Types of forces.
Kinetic energy, potential energy and work.
Conservation of energy. Gravitation .
Oscillating systems.

Fluid-dynamics
Law of Pascal and Archimede. Dynamics of fluids. Bernoulli’s theorem. Viscous flow. Stokes’s law and its corrections.
Brownian motion of particles suspended in a fluid (aerosol particles).

Thermodynamics
Heat and temperature Thermodynamics laws. Entropy and the thermodynamics potentials. Thermodynamics of atmospheric aerosols.

Elements of electromagnetism
Electric charge and electric field. Gauss’s law. Electrical potential. Electric current. Ohm’s and Joule’s laws. Magnetic field. Ampere’s law. Electromagnetic induction.

The topics covered will allow the student to acquire basic and advanced knowledge in order to deal with specific topics of the subject. Thanks to the skills and competences developed, the student will also develop further abilities to apply the knowledge acquired to environmental issues, for which the knowledge and understanding of physics are of fundamental importance.

Suggested text: D. Halliday, R. Resnick, J. Walker, "Fondamenti di fisica", Sixth Edition, Publishing House Ambrosiana (January 2006).Lecture notes dealing with all the arguments of the course, together with solved problems, by M. Martellini and M. Zani available at http://www.dfm.uninsubria.it/martellini/
The purchase of the textbook is recommended but not mandatory.

The objectives of the course will be achieved through lectures and exercises (about 30%). In presence for Como, videoconference for Varese. At the beginning of the lessons, at the request of the students, the teacher will provide clarifications and in-depth analysis of the topics covered in the previous lessons. It will also be possible to ask for clarifications at any time during the lessons.

By appointment agreed by e-mail