First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Medicine
Course unit
MEP5071018, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course 6 years single cycle degree in
ME1728, Degree course structure A.Y. 2015/16, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 7.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination PHYSICS AND BIOPHYSICS
Department of reference Department of Medicine
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit CANNOT be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit is available ONLY for students enrolled in MEDICINE AND SURGERY (Ord. 2015)

Teacher in charge FRANCESCO MARZARI FIS/05
Other lecturers LUCIO ZENNARO BIO/10

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Basic courses FIS/07 Applied Physics (Cultural Heritage, Environment, Biology and Medicine) 7.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Group didactic activities 0.0 20 0.0 No turn
Lecture 7.0 64 111.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2015 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
5 COMMISSIONE D'ESAME DI FISICA E BIOFISICA A.A. 2019/2020 01/10/2019 31/12/2020 MARZARI FRANCESCO (Presidente)
ZENNARO LUCIO (Membro Effettivo)
4 COMMISSIONE D'ESAME DI FISICA E BIOFISICA A.A. 2018/2019 02/10/2018 31/12/2019 MARZARI FRANCESCO (Presidente)
ZENNARO LUCIO (Membro Effettivo)
3 COMMISSIONE D'ESAME DI FISICA E BIOFISICA A.A. 2017/2018 02/10/2017 31/12/2019 MARZARI FRANCESCO (Presidente)
ZENNARO LUCIO (Membro Effettivo)
1 COMMISSIONE D'ESAME DI FISICA E BIOFISICA A.A. 2015/2016 01/10/2015 31/12/2019 ZENNARO LUCIO (Presidente)
MARZARI FRANCESCO (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: none.
Target skills and knowledge: Basic knowledge of physics in view of its application to medicine: statics and dynamics (orthopedics), optics, acustics, fluid dynamics, electric and magnetic phenomena (physiology), radiation.
Modalita' di esame in Inglese: A test will be given at the end of each part of the course while, during the official exam sessions, it will be possible to take both physics and biophysics exams independently. The result of each written test will be valid for 1 year.
Examination methods: Physics: 12 multiple choices questions with 4 possible answers of which only one correct. No penalty for wrong answers. THe questions can concern theory or require some analytic derivation.

Biophysics: 20 multiple choices questions with 4 possible answers of which only one correct. No penalty for wrong answers.

Final evaluation: 2/3 Physics + 1/3 Byophysics
Course unit contents: PHYSICS:
- Reference frames. Motion equations, linear, parabolic and circular motion. Newton's laws, examples and applications.
- Work, power, kinetic and potential energy, conservative and dissipative forces, energy conservation. Elastic and gravitational potential energy. Momentum and its conservation, collisions. - Torque, center of mass, equilibrium and stability, levers and mechanical advantage, systems of pulleys.
- Strain and stress, Young’s modulus, bone fractures.
- Density, molecular mass, pressure, Stevin's, Archimede's and Bernoulli's laws.
- Viscosity and Poiseuille's law, Reynolds number and turbulence, erythrocyte sedimentation, centrifugation.
- Blood circulation, arterial pressure and its measurement, effect of gravity on blood flow, stenosis and aneurism.
- Surface tension, Laplace law, surfactants, alveoli of the lung, gas embolism, capillarity.
- Temperature scales, perfects gasses, partial pressures, Boyle's and Gay-Lussac's laws, temperature and molecular energy, mean square speed.
- Heat and its transmission, thermal equilibrium, heat-work equivalence. Latent heat, evaporation and vapor pressure, absolute and relative humidity.
- First principle of thermodynamics (TD), TD processes, internal energy and specific heats of ideal gasses. Thermal and refrigerating machines, second principle of TD. Carnot’s and Clausius’ theorems, entropy. Thermoregulation and metabolism of the human body.
- Electric field, conductors, capacitors and electrostatic energy, electrical current, RC circuits, pacemaker, effects of electric currents on the human body, electrophoresis, the neuron.
- Magnetic field, Lorentz's force, mass spectrometer, cyclotron. Biot-Savart's and Ampere's laws.
- Longitudinal and transversal waves, wavelength and frequency. Superposition of waves, Fourier transforms.
- Sound waves in 3D, sound speed, specific acoustic impedance, Huygens-Fresnel principle, reflection, refraction, interference, diffraction, Doppler's effect. Intensity and Decibel scale, attenuation. Ultrasounds, Eco-Doppler instruments.
- Light as electromagnetic waves, polarization, total reflection, optical fibers. Formation of images, mirrors and lenses. The human eye, visual acuity, visual defects and their correction. Optical microscope and resolving power.
- The atom, electron binding energy, excitation and ionization. Ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. X-ray, crystallographic structure of proteins. The atomic nucleus and nuclear forces. Radioactivity, radioactive decay, radioactive tracers. Radiation-matter interaction. Tomography by positron emission (PET).

- Energy and its transformations. Spontaneous processes and equilibrium point. State functions: internal energy, enthalpy, entropy, free energy, Caloric content of food, metabolism.
- Chemical potential. Matter transport in biological systems. Free diffusion and diffusion through semi-permeable membranes-
- Membranes: gradients, diffusion, osmotic pressure, electric potentials, ionic currents. Excitable membranes: action potentials.
- Intra- and inter- molecular forces.
- Energy quantization, photons, particles and waves, energy levels, radiation absorption and emission, penetration properties of radiation into bio-systems.
- Interaction among bio-molecules. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR)
- Energy spectra, spectral regions and spectroscopy. Spectral transitions energy. Boltzmann's law. UV-visible spectroscopy, Lamberts-Beer' law. Fluorescence and phosphorescence. Infrared spectroscopy and its medical applications.
- Nuclear Magnetic resonance (NMR): theory and medical applications. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
- X-rays Imaging (CT, Computed Tomography).
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Classroom lessons.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Slides used during the lessons and downloadable at the site:

Written tests given in previous years are also available.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • F. Bellini, R. Cerbino, G. Manuzio, F. Marzari, L. Repetto, L. Zennaro, Fisica per medicina, con applicazioni fisiologiche, diagnostiche e terapeutiche.. Padova: Piccin Nuova Libreria S.p.A., 2019. Cerca nel catalogo
  • J.W. Kane, M.M. Sternheim, Fisica applicata - Lezioni, esempi, quesiti a risposta multipla e problemi risolti.. Roma: Edizioni Mediche Scientifiche Internazionali, Roma, 2013.