Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in BIOTECHNOLOGY
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Basic compulsory subjects
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (32 hours), Exercise (24 hours)

To understand the topics of the course and to perform the practical activities, students are required to possess the following competences, acquired during the Maths course of the first semester:

- basic notions of maths (algebra, trigonometry, differential and integral calculus)
- basic notions of statistics and data analysis (data taking, distributions and statistical properties, random variables, data analysis on a PC)
- capability of interpreting the plot of a function

Final Examination: 

The assessment requires several steps:
- during the course - part 1: students will be assigned four assignments consisting in the analysis of videos concerning the physical phenomena treated in class and in the writing of short reports containing the description of the phenomenon, the data analysis and the conclusions. The activity can be performed individually or in a group (made up of a maximum of three students). For each assignment there will be a deadline for delivery and the student/students will have to implement the corrections indicated by the teacher.

- during the course - part 2: students will be offered the opportunity to participate to four exercise verifications in which they will have to solve exercises at home as done during the exercise sessions in class; the exercises will be sent via e-learning and a maximum delivery time will be given. The exercises can be solved individually or in groups (which must be the same as the assignment group).

- at the end of the course - oral exam:
* those who have delivered the assignments and the correct exercises on schedule can access the oral exam by choosing one topic among those treated during the course
* those who have completed the assignments but not the exercises can access the oral exam bringing a topic chosen among those treated during the course and will also be asked the physics of one of the assignments chosen by the teacher
* those who have not completed the assignments within the scheduled time, in the first part of the oral exam will have to solve three exercises on the blackboard; the exercises will be of the type solved during the exercise sessions. If the exercises are carried out correctly, the student can proceed with the oral exam choosing one topic among the ones of the course.

The three verification phases have different goals:
- part 1 intends to verify the ability to describe the physical phenomenon, to analyze experimental data and to comment critically on the results comparing them to what expected
- part 2 intends to verify the ability to critically apply what has been learned, during lessons and during the assignments, to concrete problems, adequately describing the logical path that led to the solution
- the oral exam intends to verify the level of knowledge acquired by the student on the topic under discussion, his/her ability to describe and analyze it with an appropriate language and his/her ability to decline it in different contexts.

The verification phases during the course do not contribute to the final grade but allow the access to the oral exam; in the event that the assignments have not been carried out, the student can access the final part of the oral exam only after having successfully solved three exercises on the blackboard.

To pass the oral exam, the student must present the chosen topic satisfactorily, with an adequate language, demonstrating a satisfactory understanding of the physical phenomena and the theory that describes them.

The value of the final grade will depend on the student's ability to answer questions on the topic.
Full marks with laude will be awarded to the student who proves he/she has an excellent understanding of the subject and the ability to apply the physical laws of that field to problems of reality not discussed directly in class.

Voto Finale

The goal of the course is to provide students with concepts and instruments to observe and understand natural phenomena, insert them in the physical laws frame, represent in a graphical way the variables that describe the phenomena and analyze critically this representation. The course contributes to the learning outcomes of the Degree Course, developing the capability of: observing and interpreting the physical phenomena using also mathematical and statistical concepts; evaluating experimental data in a critical way; integrating the competences acquired in different field to apply them to the solution of new and interdisciplinary problems.

At the end of the course students will be able to:
- observe natural phenomena framing them in the context of physical laws
- solve autonomously simple physical problems representing the results in a graphical way to understand the relation between quantities
- analyze the data collected in simple experiments, writing short scientific reports that describe the phenomena, the data analysis and the obtained results
- use programs of data analysis that allow to represent the collected data in a graphical way and to perform a fit of the experimental data starting from a theoretical prediction.

- excursus on the role of physics in biology
- units of measurement in the International System
- the vectors and their composition
- concept of error in an experimental measurement: accuracy and consistency
- introduction to the Tracker analysis program, the reference program for data analysis

- kinematics variables: space, time, speed and acceleration
- graphic representation of the variables and their analysis
- the motion of free fall: analysis of several videos of uniformly accelerated motion and interpretation of the obtained data
- parabolic motion: analysis of several videos and application of the laws of motion to sport
- harmonic motions and damped harmonic motions: uniform circular motion; the motion of a pendulum; analysis of videos of both motions
- dynamics and its laws: the concepts of force and mass; the three Newton's laws; examples of forces
- friction types; the aerodynamic resistance of a fluid and its effects
- the inclined plane: the importance of the reference system; analysis of videos in presence of different types of friction

- types of energy and "energetic" transformations
- the concepts of work and power
- the principles of conservation of: energy, momentum and angular momentum; their application (e.g. in the movement of animals, in sports)

- pressure and density
- resting fluids: Stevin's law; Pascal's principle; Archimedes' principle and its applications (from hot air ballooning to bone fishes)
- fluid dynamics with ideal fluids: the continuity equation; Bernoulli's equation and its applications (from the wing of the plane to the cartilaginous fishes)
- viscous fluids: the flow rate; laminar and turbulent motion; the relationship between flow rate and viscosity in the two conditions and its application to the circulatory system
- surface tension: definition and applications; flotation; surfactant liquids
- the capillarity and Jurin’s law
- Laplace's law and the working principle of pulmonary alveoli

- heat and the zero principle of thermodynamics
- temperature and the relationship with heat: ways of heat transfer and the concept of dynamic balance in living beings
- specific heat and heat capacity
- perfect gases, state variables, laws of transformations and the representation in the Clapeyron diagram
- the first principle of thermodynamics and its application to different transformations
- entropy and the second principle of thermodynamics
- thermal machines and their efficiency

- the electromagnetic spectrum
- geometrical optics:
* reflection and refraction
* refractive index and chromatic dispersion
* the parallel face lamina and the prism
* total reflection and optical fibers
* thin lenses
* the eye: characteristics; defects; image formation
- wave optics:
* the interference and Young’s experiment
* interference in thin laminas
* diffraction from a single opening
* the diffraction from a circular aperture and the resolving power of an optical instrument
* the diffraction grating and spectrometry
* the polarization of light and the measurement of the optical rotation of substances


- the electric charge
- Coulomb's force
- the electric field and the electric potential
- the electric dipole
- the flux of the electric field and Gauss' theorem
- conductors and insulators
- capacitors and the concept of capacity
- the electric current and the elements of an electric circuit: resistance, capacitor, voltage generator
- charge and discharge of a RC circuit

- comparison between electricity and magnetism
- the magnetic field
- the Lorentz force and the mass spectrometer
- relationship between electric field and magnetic field
- current in a wire: the Biot-Savart law and the Ampere law
- magnetic induction and Faraday's law
- Maxwell's equations


The following bibliography is used:
- Halliday, Resnick, Walker: Fondamenti di fisica. Vol. 1 e 2, ISBN-10: 8808182983, ISBN-10: 8808183114
- D. J. Rumsey: Statistics For Dummies, 2nd Edition, ISBN: 978-1-119-29352-1

Students are provided with the slides of the lessons and dedicated material when necessary (articles, notes).


The course is divided into:

- frontal lessons (32h) during which the teacher will use stimulus questions to face the different areas of physics. These questions will allow to organize paths that demonstrate how the same laws are able to explain apparently different phenomena; the starting point for these questions will be as much as possible related to the field of study of the Degree Course. Each path will include small experiments, when possible, performed in the classroom with low cost materials.

- exercise sessions (24h) during which:
* the teacher will explain exercises that allow a critical application of what seen during the lesson and require the graphic representation of the variables involved in the physical phenomenon, with a critical evaluation of the result
* the students will perform the analysis of the experimental data collected in the form of videos of some of the phenomena treated in the lessons. These videos, provided by the teacher, will be analyzed using the open source Tracker software, which will be installed on the students' portable PCs so that they can work directly in the classroom. If the analysis cannot be performed with Tracker, the Excel software will be used. This part of the activity will allow students to practice to be able to perform the assignments for the final assessment.

For questions/discussion/comments, students are invited to contact the teacher via email at the following address: