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First Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[40/39]  MEDICINE AND SURGERY [39/00 - Ord. 2020]  PERCORSO COMUNE 5 50


This course has the primary objective to provide the knowledge on the basic laws of Physics and the capacity (i) to apply them to explain the main phenomena of biological and medical interests; (ii) to get the necessary background to explain the functioning of the human body and the sources of some pathological conditions. We refer to the next section for a more detailed list of topics covered.


Prerequisite of the course: Elementary Mathematics and Physics (as taught in high schools)
Physical quantities and the systems of measurement. Kinematics and Dynamics of point particles. Work and energy. Static of fluids. Thermology, ideal gas law, 1 e 2 principle of thermodynamics. General phenomena in acoustic and optics: reflection, refraction, simple lenses and mirrors. Introduction to electrostatic and electrodynamic: Coulomb law, electric field and potential, capacitors, elementary circuits, continuous currents, electrical resistance, Joule effect, power generator.
Natural, integer, rational and real numbers and their operations. Order of magnitude and scientific notation. Proportions and percentages. Power with integer and rational exponent and their properties. Logarithm (10 and e base) and their properties. Algebraic expressions and polynomials. Equations and inequalities of first and second degrees. Elementary functions and their graphical representation.
Polygons, circumference and circle, sphere and spherical surfaces. Angles in degree and radians. Sinus, cosinus and tangent, trigonometric equations and application to right triangles. Cartesian coordinates in two and three dimensions. Equation of a straight line. Probability, frequency and average value.


Mechanics of rigid body and Mechanics of Fluids
Rigid body: equilibrium conditions, translational and rotational motions; Levers in human body and fracture.
Dynamics of perfect fluids. Dynamics of real fluids: laminar and turbulent flow. Resistance and Poiseuille law. The human cardiovascular system.
Physics of surfaces and membranes
Phenomena based on surface tension. The physics of blood flow and breathing. Diffusion and osmosis.
Internal energy and enthalpy. Thermodynamic cycles, thermal machines and performance. Entropy, free energy and work. Conditions for spontaneous evolution of systems.
Electrical and Magnetic Phenomena
Properties of insulators and conductors. Charge-discharge of a capacitor. Introduction to magnetic fields generated by currents and permanent magnets. Effect of magnetic field on currents and charges. Magnetic induction phenomena and self-induction.
Oscillatory Phenomena
Propagation of waves: example of elastic, sound and electromagnetic waves. Stationary waves. Doppler effect. Beyond geometrical optics: the ondulatory theory of optics. Applications in medicine: the hearing apparatus and ultrasounds. The eye and its defects. The microscope, the magnification and the resolving power of optical instruments.

Teaching Methods

Combination of classroom teaching and interactive teaching with the use of tools and a variety of media in the classroom (video projections and blackboard). During tutorials students should participate actively by solving proposed problems. The participation in 70% of planned activities is mandatory.
Some activities might be delivered online.

Verification of learning

Mandatory written exercises on the basic topics (4 exercises) followed by audits on applied physics (2 questions). During the teaching period two written exercise sessions (3 exercises each) can substitute the exercises before the audits.

Application to exam is through the S3 procedure. Mark: min 18, max 30

Mark ranges:
a) Pass (18 to 20)

b) Fair (21 to 23)

c) Good (24 to 26)

d) Very Good (27 to 29)

e) Excellent (30),

and for outstanding candidates we can assign the “30 with laude”


D. Scannicchio: Fisica Biomedica (EdiSES, Napoli 2009)*.
J.S. Walker: Fondamenti di Fisica (Zanichelli, Bologna, 2005)

More Information

The teacher can be contacted by e-mail to fix an appointment
−M. Ceccarelli, Dipartimento di Fisica – Cittadella Universitaria di Monserrato

1. previous written test available on the teacher's personal page.
2. teaching language is italian

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