Complements of Classical Mechanics and Thermodynamics

Period of duration of course
Course info
Number of course hours
Number of hours of lecturers of reference
Number of hours of supplementary teaching
CFU 12

Type of exam

Written and oral exam


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General course of the 1st year for Chemists, Physicists and Mathematicians


Vectors. Reference systems. time law. Units of measurement and dimensional analysis. Particle kinematics and kinematics of the rigid body. Forces and torques.

Statics. Friction forces. Tensions. Balancing forces and torques. Newton's laws.

Oscillations: harmonic oscillator, driven oscillator, damped oscillator. coupled oscillators.

Non-inertial reference systems. Fictitious forces. 

Conservation of energy in one dimension, conservative forces, work and potential energy. Small oscillations. Conservation of energy in three dimensions - Gravity. Tides. Equivalence Principle.

Momentum conservation. variable masses. Center of mass. Kinetic energy. Collisions in one and two dimensions.

Central forces. Angular momentum. Effective potential. Kepler's laws. Angular momentum with fixed direction. Case of a two-dimensional object. Non-planar objects.

Moment of inertia. Torques. Angular momentum general case. Angular velocity. Tensor of inertia. Principal axes . Euler equations. Spinning tops and gyroscopes.

Kinetic theory of gases - Pressure, temperature and kinetic energy, the ideal gas law, Boltzmann law, distribution of molecular velocities. Specific heat.

Temperature and Heat - First and second law of thermodynamics - entropy - free energy.


Educational aims

Learn how to tackle problems of medium difficulty mechanics even with more advanced mathematical techniques than is typically the case in the UNIPI undergraduate course of 1st year.

Bibliographical references

Introduction to Classical Mechanics, D. Morin.

Classical Mechanics, D.E. Rutherford

The Feynman Lectures of Physics (Vol 1), R.P. Feynman

Thermodynamics, E. Fermi.