First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Medicine
Course unit
MEO2044823, 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
ME1730, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 8.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination MEDICAL PHYSICS
Department of reference Department of Neurosciences
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 SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY (Ord. 2017)

Teacher in charge CLAUDIA LAZZARO FIS/01
Other lecturers LUCA STANCO

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Basic courses FIS/07 Applied Physics (Cultural Heritage, Environment, Biology and Medicine) 8.0

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

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 8.0 80 120.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
7 FISICA MEDICA 01/10/2019 30/09/2020 LAZZARO CLAUDIA (Presidente)
STANCO LUCA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: It is required a basic knolwedge of calculus at the level of secondary school.
Target skills and knowledge: The main goals of this course are:
1) To give the basic physical concepts that are commonly used in biology and chemistry
2) To stimulate the ability of understanding problems and to solve them by physical modelling
3) To understand the foundamental laws of natural phenomena.
Examination methods: Written exam based on the solution of exercises.
Assessment criteria: The following criteria are evaluated:
1) understanding of concepts and ideas presented in class
2) ability to apply the concepts described in the lesson on real problems
3) critical capacity to use the physical methods in the most appropriate, choosing from alternatives
Course unit contents: Introduction
Measurements , the international systems of units, precision and experimental errors.

Reference frames. Velocity and acceleration. One dimensional motion. Vectors. Projectile motion .Forces. Newton’s law of motion. Friction . Work and Energy. Kinetic energy. Conservation laws. Potential energy. Systems of particles. The center of mass. Torque and angular momentum. Equilibrium. Applications to human body of the law of mechanics: the strength of muscles and the size of joints.

Density and Pressure. Fluids at rest. Pascal’s principle. Archimedes’ principle. Fluids in motion. Bernoulli’s equation. Applications of Bernoulli’s equation. Surface tension. Jurin’s law. Applications to the human body: blood circulation. Aneurisms. Sphygmomanometers

Heat and Thermodynamics
Measuring temperature. The Celsius and Fahrenheit scales. Thermal expansion. Heat. Specific heats. Heat transfer: thermal conduction, thermal convection and thermal radiation. The First law of thermodynamics. Kinetic theory of gases. Ideal gases. The equipartition of energy. The second law of Thermodynamics. Entropy. Application to the human body: human metabolism.

Waves and particles. Wavelength and frequency. The principle of superposition. Interference of waves. Standing waves and resonance. Sound waves. The speed of sound. Sources of musical sounds. The Doppler effect. Measurement of blood density with an Eco-Doppler equipment.

Electromagnetism and Optics
Electric charge. Coulomb’s law. The electric field. Lines of force. Dipole in an electric field. The electric potential. Equipotential surfaces. Electric potential energy. Capacitance. Capacitors in series and in parallel. Moving charges. Electric current. Ohm’s law. Simple electrical circuits. Magnetic fields. Ampere’s law. Faraday’s law of induction. Maxwell’s equations. Electromagnetic waves. Geometrical Optics. Lenses. Diffraction. X-rays. Application of electromagnetic devices in medicine: e.g ECG.

Atomic and nuclear physics and their application to medicine
Photoelectric effect. Bohr’s atom. The structure of matter. Binding energies. Ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. X-ray spectra. Atomic nucleus and nuclear forces. Radioactivity and radioactive decay. Radio active half time and its application to biology. Radioactive tracers. Positron emission tomography.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course consists of lectures based on topics listed in the section "Course unit contents" . These lectures will be supported by specific examples and exercises in order to help the student in understanding the possible applications of the theoretical concepts. Particular attention will be devoted to applications in biology and medicine.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • D. Scannicchio, G. Castellani, Fisica Biomedica. Napoli: SES, 2013. Cerca nel catalogo