First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
GENERAL PHYSICS 2 (Iniziali cognome A-L)
SCN1037544, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
SC1158, Degree course structure A.Y. 2014/15, A.Y. 2018/19
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 14.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination GENERAL PHYSICS 2
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Physics and Astronomy
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge FABIO ZWIRNER FIS/02
Other lecturers MARCO ZANETTI FIS/01

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Basic courses FIS/01 Experimental Physics 14.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 5.0 60 65.0 No turn
Lecture 9.0 72 153.0 No turn

Start of activities 01/10/2018
End of activities 18/01/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2014 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
10 Fisica Generale 2 (iniziali cognome M-Z) 01/10/2018 30/11/2019 SIMONETTO FRANCO (Presidente)
ROSSIN ROBERTO (Membro Effettivo)
9 Fisica Generale 2 01/10/2018 30/11/2019 ZWIRNER FABIO (Presidente)
ZANETTI MARCO (Membro Effettivo)
8 Fisica Generale 2 (iniazili cognome M-Z) 01/10/2017 30/11/2018 SIMONETTO FRANCO (Presidente)
ZWIRNER FABIO (Membro Effettivo)
BAIESI MARCO (Supplente)
7 Fisica Generale 2 (iniziali cognome M-Z) 01/10/2017 30/11/2018 SIMONETTO FRANCO (Presidente)
ZWIRNER FABIO (Membro Effettivo)
BAIESI MARCO (Supplente)
6 Fisica Generale 2 01/10/2017 30/11/2018 ZWIRNER FABIO (Presidente)
SIMONETTO FRANCO (Membro Effettivo)
BAIESI MARCO (Supplente)

Prerequisites: General Physics 1, Mathematical Analysis 1, Mathematical Analysis 2, Geometry
Target skills and knowledge: This course deals with electromagnetic phenomena, from their experimental observation to their description in terms of general laws. The student will get a knowledge of the experimental tools useful for the study of electric and magnetic phenomena, both static and dynamic, and of the theory which allows their mathematical description, up to Maxwell's equations both in vacuum and in materials. Among the electromagnetic phenomena studied in this course are those related to optics, therefore waves and oscillations will be analyzed thoroughly.
Examination methods: Both written and oral, in the same session. A positive evaluation of the written exam is necessary to be admitted to the oral one.
The written exam for admission to the oral exam in the winter session (at the end of the semester), may be substituted by partial written exams (Compitini) during the semester.
Assessment criteria: The written exam requires the solution of some simple problems on subjects studied in class.
In the oral exam, the student must show his/her understanding of the phenomenology of electromagnetic events and of the underlying physical laws.
Course unit contents: Coulomb law. International System of Units (SI).
Electrostatic Field and Potential.
Gauss' law. Poisson and Laplace equations.
Electric dipole. Dipole approximation for many charges.
Conductors in electrostatic equilibrium. Electrostatic screening.
Capacity; ideal capacitor. Energy of a collection of charges. Energy of the electrostatic field.
Dielectrics. Dielectric constant. Polarization and polarization charges. Displacement field. Introduction to the microscopic interpretation of dielectric phenomena.
Properties of the electric charge. Millikan experience and charge quantization. Electric current: current intensity and current density. Conservation of charge and continuity equation.
Ohm's law. Joule effect. Current and potential generators. Electromotive force, tension.
Kirchoff's laws. Basic facts about superconductivity.
Magnetic field. Lorentz' force. Motion of a charge in a magnetic field. Cyclotron frequency. Hall's effect.
Laplace second law. Biot-Savart law. Ampere's circuital law.
Vector potential. Laplace first law. Interaction between currents. Magnetic dipole moment. Electromagnetic induction. Faraday-Lenz law. Mutual and self inductance.
Alternating-current circuits. Stationary solutions of circuits with an alternating-current generator.
Ohm's law for circuits with alternating currents.
Ampere-Maxwell law and complete form of Maxwell equations. The electromagnetic field.

Energy of a system of currents. Magnetic propertis of materials. Magnetization vector. Magnetization currents. The H vector. Ferromagnetism. Microscopic interpretation of the magnetic properties of materials.
Oscillatory motion. Systems with two or more degrees of freedom.
Some oscillating systems. The wave equation. Harmonic waves. Dispersion relation. Fourier analysis. Traveling waves. Dispersion. Reflection of waves.

Electromagnetic waves as predicted by Maxwell equations: Herz discovery of e.mag. waves. Density and energy flux associated to e.mag. waves. Waves travelling through different media. Solution of Maxwell equations in a omogeneous medium and in two omogeneous bodies divided by a plain surface.

Intensity of the e.mag. waves. Radiation field. Spectrum of the e.mag. waves. Wave propagation, phase and group velocity. Snell's laws for light reflection and transmission on the boundary between to different omogeneous bodies. Light absorbtion and complex refraction index.

Interference and diffraction. Huygens-Fresnel principle. Young experiment. Coherence in time and in space. Interference with thin layers, equal inclination or equal thickness fringes.
Interference from multiple sources.
Diffraction, from a linear and a circular hole. Lens resolvance.
Lens resolving power. Diffraction from randomly arranged pointlike targets.
The diffraction grating and its resolvance.

Polarization of light and way to produce it. Analyzers, Malus law. E.mag. waves in non omogeneous dielectricts.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Blackboard lectures in front of the class, with many experimental demonstrations. The general treatment is supplemented by illustrative problems and applications.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • P. Mazzoldi, M. Nigro, C. Voci, Fisica, vol. 2 Seconda Edizione. Napoli: EdiSES, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • A. Bettini, Elettromagnetismo. Bologna: Decibel-Zanichelli., --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • A. Bettini, Le Onde e la luce. Bologna: Decibel-Zanichelli, --. Cerca nel catalogo