Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Academic Year 2017/18
Physics II
1st degree and Bachelor-level of the Bologna process in Biomedical Engineering - Torino
Teacher Status SSD Les Ex Lab Tut Years teaching
Descrovi Emiliano ORARIO RICEVIMENTO A2 FIS/03 45 15 0 0 8
Descrovi Emiliano ORARIO RICEVIMENTO A2 FIS/03 45 15 0 0 8
SSD CFU Activities Area context
A - Di base
A - Di base
Fisica e chimica
Fisica e chimica
Subject fundamentals
This second-year course (1st semester) is aimed at providing the basic physics concepts for further use in the forthcoming higher-level courses. It is therefore a course of main relevance within the educational path of a biomedical engineer.
The course addresses fundamental topics such as the law of classical electromagnetisms, including Maxwell equations, the propagation of light as electromagnetic waves and physical optics. The objective is to enable the student in learning fundamental principles and their physical meaning. Some basic applications will be illustrated related to each general law, aiming at providing a method for use in the interpretation of physical phenomena included in many engineering applications.
Expected learning outcomes
- knowledge on electrostatics in vacuum and within dielectric materials
- knowledge on electrical conduction phenomena in conductive materials
- knowledge on magnetostatics
- knowledge on the basic principles ruling time-dependent electric/magnetic fields and their interconnections
- knowledge on Maxwell equations
- ability to use the Maxwell equations for solving basic problems of electromagnetism
- knowledge on physical optics as a consequence of the Maxwell equations
- knowledge on the physical optics laws and the properties of electromagnetic waves
- ability to apply physical and geometrical optics laws to basic practical problems and simple optical configurations
- knowledge on interferometric and diffractive phenomena.
Prerequisites / Assumed knowledge
- Basic classical physics (mehcanics, thermodynamics)
- basic mathematics and geometry.
Electric Force, electric field and potential; electric dipole
Forces on electric dipole; Gauss’ law
Electrostatic field in materials; conductive and dielectric materials; isopotential surfaces
Capacitors and electric capacity
Energy density of the electric field
Dielectrics: Polarization of matter; D field, field continuity equation

Conduction. Current intensity and density. Charge conservation. DC current. Resistance.
Ohm’s law. Resistivity and conductivity.
Electric power. Joule effect. Electromotive force. Driving field in DC generator. Capacitor charge/discharge.

Magnetic field and magnetic induction. Second Maxwell law.
Force on single charged particle within a magnetic field: Lorentz force
Force on a current-carrying conductor within a magnetic field.
Magnetic field sources: magnetic field generated by an electric current: first Laplace law.
Laplace’s law application. Magnetic field generated by a circular coil carrying an electric current. Magnetic dipole. Solenoid.
Mechanical torque and potential energy of a magnetic dipole within an external magntic field.
Forces between parallel conductor carrying electric currents. Second Laplace law. Exemplary application: the coil. Electric motor.
Ampere’s law and related applications. Magnetic field flux in circuits.
Magnetic fields in matter: diamagnetism, paramagnetisms, ferromagnetism. Magnetization current.

Faraday-Henry law and related applications. Third Maxwell equation.
Inductance and self-induction. Spinning coil.
Magnetic field energy generated in a magnetic circuit. Magnetic field energy density.
Opening/closing extra current in an electric circuit.
Ampère-Maxwell law: fourth Maxwell equation.

Wave equation for the electric and magnetic fields: from Maxwell equation to d’Alembert
General characteristics of waves. Electromagnetic waves.
Wave parameters. Plane and spherical waves.

Wave propagation in vacuum; Poyinting vector; wave intensity.
Wave propagation in dielectrics; polarizability. Dispersion, skin effect.
Oscillating dipole.

Snell law for rifraction and reflection.
Fresnel equations; critical angle, Brewster angle.

Electromagnetic wave interference; phasor approach.
Young’s interferometeter. Interference among N equally-spaced sources.

Description of the phenomenon Fraunhofer diffration for a single rectangulat slit. Diffraction gratings.

Description of related phenomena. Exemplary polarization states.
Delivery modes
The course consists of 45 hours of theoretical lessons and 14 hours of class exercises.
Exercises are aimed at solving basic problems, with applications of theoretical concepts to practical cases. The use of scientific calculators might be occasionally required.
Texts, readings, handouts and other learning resources
Supporting material provided by the teacher.
- "Fisica volume 2", P. MAZZOLDI, M. NIGRO e C. VOCI -II Edizione, ED. EDISES
- "Elementi di Fisica per l'Università Volume 2", M. ALONSO, E. FINN, Ed. Addison-Wesley 1969.
Assessment and grading criteria
The exam consists of a written test and an optional oral interview.
The written test includes: (a) multiple-answer tests, (b) symbolic and/or numeric problems related to the basic topics of the course. The maximum score is 10/30 for the multiple-answer test, whilst it is 20/30 for the probems. The overall score is the sum of the two.
A time interval of 2 hours is given for the completion of the exam. In order to pass the exam, a minimum score of 18/30 is required. During the written exam, students can only use a portable calculator as a supporting material.
The oral interview can be accessed only upon a score higher or equal to 27/30 at the written test and will last about 20-30 minutes. All the topics of the course represent possible subjects for the interview. The final score in given by a weighted sum of the written and the oral parts.

Programma definitivo per l'A.A.2017/18

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