Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Academic Year 2010/11
Physics II
1st degree and Bachelor-level of the Bologna process in Electronic Engineering - Torino
1st degree and Bachelor-level of the Bologna process in Physical Engineering - Torino
Teacher Status SSD Les Ex Lab Tut Years teaching
SSD CFU Activities Area context
FIS/03 8 A - Di base Fisica e chimica
Subject fundamentals
Aim of the course (2nd semester, 2nd year) is to provide the students of Electronic Engineering and Physical Engineering with the theoretical concepts to be used in all courses of the following semesters. This is therefore a pivotal course for the ensuing career of an electronic engineer and a physical engineer.
The course is divided in two sections: in the first one, fundamental subjects of basic physics are treated, such as: electromagnetism and the Maxwell's equations, physical and wave/geometrical optics. In the second section, students are divided in two groups (composed of all electronic engineers and all physical engineers, respectively). For students of Physical Engineering, the subjects involve: the crisis of classical mechanics, the transition to the fundaments of modern physics, with emphasis on quantum physics and its implications in terms of methods and practice. For students of Electronic Engineering, the quantum physics concepts needed to describe electronic and optical properties of matter are developed, with emphasis to the classes of semiconductor and metallic materials.
Expected learning outcomes
- Knowledge of magnetostatics.
- Ability to apply magnetostatics to simple problems.
- Knowledge of basic principles of time-dependent electric and magnetic fields.
- Knowledge of Maxwell's equations.
- Ability to apply the Maxwell's equations to solve elementary problems of electromagnetism.
- Knowledge of wave optics as a consequence of Maxwell's equations.
- Knowledge of wave optics laws and of properties of electromagnetic waves++\.
- Ability to apply the laws of wave and geometrical optics e to basic problems and simple optical instruments.
- Preliminary Knowledge of laws and principles of quantum mechanics.
- Ability to solve elementary problems of quantum mechanics
- Preliminary knowledge of quantum statistics
- Ability to use quantum statistics in the description of properties of condensed matter.
Prerequisites / Assumed knowledge
- Basic physics (mechanics, thermodynamics)
- Basic mathematics and geometry
Electrical currents and magnetostatics (1 cr)
Time dependent electric and magnetic fields (1 cr)
The Maxwell's equations (0,5 cr)
Electromagnetic waves (0,5 cr)
Wave optics (0,5 cr)
Geometrical optics (0,5 cr)

Recalls of classical thermodynamics (0,5 cr)
Inadequacies of classical physics: crucial experiments, their description and their interpretation; need to formulate a new physical theory (0,5 cr)
The Schroedinger's equation and representation. Properties of quantum operators in the Schroedinger's representation. Eigenfunctions and eigenvalues of a quantum operator. Measurement of a physical quantity. Indeterminacy principle. (1 cr)
Analysis of one-dimensional quantum problems, an overview of the Hydrogen atom and molecule, the Schroedinger's equation for an infinite array of potential wells, elements of statistical mechanics applied to quantum systems; the harmonic oscillator, the gas of photons and phonons (the Bose-Einstein's distribution), the solution of the black-body problem, the specific heat of solids (in the Einstein's approach),the electron gas (the Fermi-Dirac's distribution). (2 cr.)

Transition from classical to quatum physics. (0,5 cr)
The Schroedinger's equation. Measurement of a physical quantity. Indeterminacy principle. (05 cr)
One-dimensional quantum problems, the Schroedinger's equation for an infinite array of potential wells. Electrons in crystalline solids. (1 cr.)
The photon gas (the Bose-Einstein's distribution), the electron gas ((the Fermi-Dirac's distribution). (1 cr.)
Electrical properties of semiconductors and metals (0,5 cr)
Interaction of photons with matter (0,5 cr)
Delivery modes
Class exercises include simple problem solving activities, with strict connections to theoretical lectures. In some cases scientific calculators (students' personal property) may be required.
Texts, readings, handouts and other learning resources
Selected chapters from the following textbooks:

M. Alonso, E. Finn, Elementi di Fisica per l'Universitą Vol. 2, Addison-Wesley 1969
M. Alonso, E. Finn, Fundamental University Physics Vol 3, Addison-Wesley 1968
K.F. Brennan , The Physics of Semiconductors, Cambridge Univ. Press 1999
E.M. Purcell, La Fisica di Berkeley 2 ' Elettricitą e magnetismo, Zanichelli 1971
E. H. Wichmann, La Fisica di Berkeley 4 ' Fisica quantistica, Zanichelli 1973
Actual reference texts (selected among those in the list) will be stated by the teacher.
Learning material distributed by teachers
Assessment and grading criteria
The exam involves a written and an oral proof. The written proof includes: a) simple problems (either symbolic or numeric) referring to the main subjects; each problem is articulated in 2-3 points; b) multiple-answer questions on the same subjects of solid state physics. The maximum mark of the problems section is 20/30, that of the questions section is 10/30. The total allotted time is 2 hrs. The written proof is passed with a total score of at least 15/30. The oral proof lasts 20-30 mins. and is about all subjects treated in lectures and labs.
The final mark is a weighed average of written/oral scores.

The course is held by two teachers, respectively responsible; (a) for the first part (one class) and the second part (Physical Engineering students) and (b) for the second part ( Electronic Engineering students).

Programma definitivo per l'A.A.2010/11

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