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First Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[60/60]  PHYSICS [60/00 - Ord. 2012]  PERCORSO COMUNE 12 96


1. Knowledge and understanding
The course provides the concepts at the basis of classical electromagnetism and of optics.

2. Applying knowledge and understanding.
The student will apply the concepts he/she has learned to the solution of specific problems, regularly proposed and discussed during special recitation sessions.

3, Making judgements.
The results obtained during problem solving will be critically analyzed, emphasizing, where possible, alternative ways to obtain the solution.

4. Communication skills.
During the exams, ability to express clearly and rigorously the concepts learned. During recitation classes, ability to communicate to fellow students the reasoning and the logical path towards the solution of a the problem at hand.

5. Learning skills.
The student will acquire the necessary skill to continue his/her studies. In particular he/she should be capable of using the concepts learned in this course in the fields of solid state physics (study of the electrical and magnetic properties of materials), of nuclear and subnuclear physics and of astrophysics.


It is required a working knowledge of dynamics, calculus and vector algebra at the level taught in the General Physics I, Analysis I and Geometry courses.


Elettrostatics in vacuum: Electric charge. Coulomb's force.Superposition principle. Electric field. Field for an arbitrary distribution of charges. Gauss' law.
Divergence. Electrostatic potential. Stokes' theorem.
Potential and field of an electric dipole. Potential of an arbitrary distribution of charges. Potential Energy of a system of charges. Energy density associated with the electric field. Dipole in external field. Electrostatic induction. Coulomb's theorem.
Poisson and Laplace equations. General problem of electrostatics. Method of images. Electrostatic shield. Capacity. Condensers. Electrostatic Energy.
Force between the plates of a condenser.
Dielettric media: Electric polarization. Density of
polarization charges. Electric induction. Gauss' theorem in dielectric media. Continuity of the fields at the boundary between different media. Electric rigidity.
Steady Currents: Intensity and current density.
Continuity equation. Ohm's law in macroscopic
and microscopic form. Resistivity. Conductivity models. Electric conductivity in metals. Joules effect. Joule's relation in microscopic and macroscopic form. Generators. Internal resistance of a generator. RC circuit.
Magnetism in vacuum: Magnetic induction. Lorentz force. Velocity selector. Motion of charged particles in a magnetic field. Cyclotron. Hall effect. Force on a current-carrying wire. Laplace formula. Coil in external magnetic field. Magnetic moment. Generation of magnetic fields. Biot-Savart relation. Laplace formula. Magnetic field of point charge in non relativistic motion. Field of a straight indefinite wire. Field of a circular coil. Forces between circuits. Definition of the unit of electric current. Ampere circuital relation in integral and differential form. Vector potential. Lorentz transformations (general elements).Transformation of velocity.
Transformations of fields.
Electromagnetic induction: Faraday's experiments.
Electromotive force associated with motion
and transformation. Conducting rod in motion in constant B-field. Coil in motion in non-uniform B-field. Coil rotating in external B-field. Faraday-Lenz law. Betatron. Mutual and self induction. RL Circuit.
Energy density associated with magnetic field.
Displacement current. Modified Ampere's relation.
Magnetism in magnetic media: Description of the magnetic behaviour of materials. Force on a dipole
in external non-uniform field. Magnetic moment
and angular momentum. Larmor precession. Magnetization and atomic currents. Diamagnetic and paramagnetic materials. Elements of ferromagnetism. Isteresis cycle.
Energy stored in the magnetic field.
Elettromagnetic waves: Maxwell's equations in vacuum.
Solution in the absence of charges and currents.
Plane waves. Poynting vector. Intensity. Continuity equation for the Poynting vector. Energy and momentum of electromagnetic waves. Radiation pressure. Gauge invariance. Plane waves using potentials. Spherical waves.
Optics: Dielectric constant and index of refraction.
Diffusion. Phase and group velocity. Polarization.
Fresnel formulae. Brewster angle. Interference
from two coherent sources. Young double slit experiment. Thin film interference. Newton's rings.
Interference from many sources. Diffraction.
Fraunhofer approximation. Single slit diffraction.
Diffraction gratings. Resolving power. Elements of exact theory of diffraction.

Teaching Methods

Lectures and problem solving classes.
Lectures will be given mostly in the classroom and will be integrated using live, remote communication systems to ensure that students can profit in a novel and inclusive manner.

Verification of learning

Written and oral exam at the end of the course. There will be two partial exams (typically one in January and one in February), with admission limited to students who are following the lecture course . Provided both are successfully passed they will replace the final exam.
The examinations will test the capability to solve problems and the ability to express oneself clearly and accurately.


E. Amaldi, R. Bizzarri, G. Pizzella, Fisica Generale 2, editore Zanichelli

P. Mazzoldi, M. Nigro, C. Voci, Fisica Volume 2, editore EDISES.

More Information

Summaries of the topics of each lecture are available on the web. Also accessible on the web are the problems solved during recitation sessions and those given at previous exams (with solutions).

Questionnaire and social

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