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Degree course in physics First Degree


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Quantum mechanics (50900597)





Course contents:

Single-electron approximation; electrons in a weak periodic potential; band structure; band structure of selected metals; elementary excitations; plasmons; phonons; electron-phonon interaction; transport properties; interaction of photons with solids; optical properties; beyond the independent electron approximation; surface effects;


^ Recommended reading:

Ashcroft and Mermin. Solid State Physics.


Notes:

This is an Elective Course.


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Course code:

Course title: Surface Physics

^ Type of course: lectures

Level of course: Advanced Level Course

Year of study: 1st Elective

Duration: trimester

Period: 3° Trimester Spring (April - June)

Number of credits: 5

Name of Lecturer:

Teaching methods: lectures-seminar

Assessment methods: oral and seminars

Language of instruction: Italian


Objective of course:

The aim of this course is to provide students with an overview of the physical and chemical properties of solid surfaces.


Prerequisites:
^

Quantum mechanics (50900597) 





Course contents:

Structural properties of a surface; theory and experimental techniques; electronic properties of a surface; surface states; experiments and theory; reactivity of a surface; interaction of atoms and molecules with well defined surface; modern surface techniques


^ Recommended reading:

Zanwill. Physics at surfaces


Notes:

This is an elective module


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Course code: 50901140

Course title: Laboratory of Physics of Matter

^ Type of course: lectures plus laboratory

Level of course: Advanced Level Course

Year of study: 2nd

Duration: trimester

Period: 2° Trimester - Winter (January - March)

Number of credits: 5

Name of Lecturer: E. Cazzanelli

Teaching methods: lectures, seminars, laboratory

Assessment methods: oral and laboratory practical

Language of instruction: Italian


Objective of course:

The aim of this course is to offer students hands-on experience in the study of the physics of matter through laboratory work which uses modern techniques to investigate optical properties of matter.


Prerequisites:

Quantum mechanics (50900597) 


^ Course contents:

Response functions of matter. Calorimetry, thermal expansion, thermal dependence of electrical resistivity . Common laboratory techniques for studying vacuum at high and low temperatures. Light-matter interactions. Dispersion and absorption. Measurements of light intensity. Detectors. Interference phenomena. Slits and gratings. Monochromators. Polarization of light. Polarizers. Reflection. Birefringence in solid and liquid crystals and applications. Electro-optical effects and applications. Basics of X-ray diffraction. Electron and neutron diffraction. Crystals, glasses, thin films, other states of aggregation. Introduction to crystal-growing techniques.


^ Recommended reading:

Handouts are given throughout the course


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Course code:

Course title: General Relativity

Type of course: lectures

Level of course: Advanced Level Course

Year of study: 2nd - Elective

Duration: trimester

Period: 1° Trimester - Autumn (Oct-Dec)

Number of credits: 5

Name of Lecturer:

Teaching methods: lectures-seminar

Assessment methods: oral-seminar

Language of instruction: Italian


Objective of course:

The aim of this module is to introduce the fundamental concepts of general relativity


Prerequisites:

Quantum Mechanics (Elective : 50900597)


^ Course contents:

Elements of general relativity: the gravitational field as a change in the metric tensor, curvilinear coordinates, transformations, covariant and contravariant vectors; covariant derivative; Cristoffel's symbols, relation between Cristoffel's symbols and the metric tensor; geodetic equations in a gravitational field; gravitational correction of the metric tensor for v<

^ Recommended reading:

Handouts are given throughout the course


Notes:

This is an Elective Course


*******************************************************************************

Course code: 00000000

Course title: Physical Processes in Stars

^ Type of course: lectures

Level of course: Advanced Level Course

Year of study: 1ist

Duration: trimester

Period: 1° Trimester - Autumn (Oct-Dec)

Number of credits: 5

Name of Lecturer:

Teaching methods: lectures-seminar

Assessment methods: oral-seminar

Language of instruction: Italian


Objective of course:

This module introduces students to the main physical phenomena occurring in stars


Prerequisites:

Stars and Galaxies (50900593)


^ Course contents:

Radiation transfer in matter: intensity of radiation, absorption and emission coefficients. Moments of the transport equation. Mean opacity and radiation transfer in a star. Cross sections: diffusion, bound-free, free-free. Energy balance of a star. Kelvin time. Necessary efficiency to power the sun. Efficiency of the relation 4p He4. Nuclear reactions: cross section, reaction rates, mean life, energy produced per mass unity. Tunneling for nuclear reactions in a star. Most effective chain reactions: PP1, PP2, PP3. Solar neutrinos. Carbon cycles.


^ Recommended reading:

Handouts are given throughout the course


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Course code:

Course title: Plasma Physics

Type of course: lectures

Level of course: Advanced Level Course

Year of study: 1st

Duration: trimester

Period: 3° Trimester - spring (April-June)

Number of credits: 5

Name of Lecturer:

Teaching methods: lectures-seminar

Assessment methods: oral-seminar

Language of instruction: Italian


Objective of course:

This course introduces students to the physical phenomenon of plasma.


Prerequisites:

Statistical Mechanics (50900588)


^ Course contents:

Plasma definition, plasmas in the Universe and in the laboratory. Elementary behavior of a plasma: electrostatic shielding, plasma waves, magnetic confinement, Larmor frequency and Larmor radius. Drift velocities due to electric and gravitational fields, grad-B drift. First adiabatic invariant and magnetic mirrors. Boltzmann equation, collision term, collision frequency and mean free paths. Moments of Boltzmann equation: conservation of particles, impulse, energy. Higher order moments: stress tensor, internal energy, heat flux. Local thermodynamic equilibrium as a closure hypothesis. Waves in plasmas: conductivity tensors, dielectric tensors, dispersion relation, polarization vectors. Plasma waves in the fluid description: linearization, mobility tensor, expression of the dielectric tensor. Cold plasma approximation, electrostatic approximation. Refraction index of cold plasma: cut-offs and resonances, qualitative behavior. Electrostatic modes: ion-sound waves, plasma waves, electron-cyclotron waves. Kinetic theory of plasma waves: Landau damping, Laplace transform, dispersion relation, analytic extension of the Laplace transform, Landau contours. Dispersion relation for a Maxwellian plasma, plasma dispersion function, Landau damping in the case of weak damping, physical interpretation. Landau damping for Langmuir waves and for ion sound waves.


^ Recommended reading:

Handouts are given throughout the course


*******************************************************************************

Course code:

Course title: Space Physics

Type of course: lectures

Level of course: Advanced Level Course

Year of study: 2nd

Duration: trimester

Period: 1° Trimester - Autumn (Oct-Dec)

Number of credits: 5

Name of Lecturer:

Teaching methods: lectures-seminar

Assessment methods: oral-seminar

Language of instruction: Italian


Objective of course:

This course is an introduction to interplanetary space physics


Prerequisites:

Plasma Physics

Magnetohydrodynamics


^ Course contents:

The exploration of interplanetary space: a historical perspective. Solar wind: phenomenology, density, velocity, temperature. Parker's model of solar wind: discussion of the solutions. Magnetic field in solar wind, Archimede's spiral. Spacecraft data on solar wind. Slow wind and fast wind, heliospheric current sheets. Terminal shock and the interstellar medium. Fluid and magnetic turbulence in solar wind. Field line transport in solar wind. Planetary magnetospheres: Chapman-Ferraro length, co-rotation length. Magnetopause, magnetic reconnection at magnetopause and in the magnetotail, aurorae, and magnetospheric substorms. Dynamics of magnetospheric plasmas. Harris equilibrium for a current sheet. Electrodynamic solar-terrestrial coupling. Danger and hazard for technological systems and Space Weather. Collisionless shock waves in solar wind: planetary bow shocks, jump conditions. Ion reflection, quasi-parallel and quasi-perpendicular shock, ion and electron foreshocks. Two-stream instability, dispersion relation for equal streams and for beam plasma instability. Cosmic rays: energy spectrum, composition, origin. Acceleration and transport of cosmic rays. Solar modulation of cosmic rays.


^ Recommended reading:

Handouts are given throughout the course


*******************************************************************************

Course code:

Course title: Solar Physics

Type of course: lectures

Level of course: Advanced Level Course

Year of study: 2nd

Duration: trimester

Period: 1° Trimester - Autumn (Oct-Dec)

Number of credits: 5

Name of Lecturer:

Teaching methods: lectures-seminar

Assessment methods: oral

Language of instruction: Italian


Objective of course:

This course is an introduction to the solar phenomena


Prerequisites:

Plasma Physics

Magnetohydrodynamics


^ Course contents:

The internal structure of the Sun: nucleus, radiative zone, convection zone, atmosphere. Solar corona; static corona of Capman. Deduction of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equations. Generalized Ohm's law, Magnetic Reynolds number. Ideal MHD, Alfven Theorem and the frozen-in law. Magnetohydrodynamic waves. Dynamo theory for the formation of the solar magnetic field. Solar magnetic cycles. Coronal equilibrium: MHD equilibria in axisymmetry. Force-free magnetic fields. Force-free equilibria in one and two dimensions. Self-consistent equilibria in two dimensions. The Grad-Shafranov equation in Cartesian and cylindrical coordinates. Magnetic flux function and magnetic surface functions. Solar oscillations and heliosismology. Solar activity: solar spots, flares, coronal arcs, etc. the magnetic structure of the solar corona: helmet streamer and coronal mass ejections. Heliospheric current sheets. Solar observation techniques: coronograph, magnetogramms, artificial satellites.


^ Recommended reading:

Handouts are given throughout the course


*******************************************************************************

Course code:

Course title: Observation and Data Analysis Techniques in Astrophysics

^ Type of course: lectures-laboratory

Level of course: Advanced Level Course

Year of study: 2nd - Elective

Duration: trimester

Period: 1° Trimester - Autumn (Oct-Dec)

Number of credits: 5

Name of Lecturer: x

Teaching methods: lectures-laboratory

Assessment methods: oral-laboratory test

Language of instruction: Italian


Objective of course:

The course allows students to understand and perform typical measurements in astrophysics.


Prerequisites:

Introduction to experimental methodology (50900390)

laboratory of mechanics and thermodynamics (50900391)

laboratory of electromagnetism (50900581)

Laboratory of wave phenomena ( 50900580)

Laboratory of Modern Physics (50900594)


^ Course contents:

Measurements of velocity and magnetic fields in interplanetary space, imaging in astronomy, measurements in galactic and extragalactic astronomy and cosmology.


Recommended reading:

Handouts are given throughout the course


Note:

This is an Elective Course


*******************************************************************************

^ Course code: 50900385

Course title: Introduction to Computer Science

Type of course: lecture and laboratory.

Level of course: First Degree Course

Year of study: 1st

Duration: trimester

Period: 1° Trimester - Autumn (Oct-Dec)

Number of Credits: 5

Name of Lecturer: Nicola Leone (Coordinator of the parallel sections – see organisation of Common Faculty Courses)

^ Teaching methods: lecture, computer laboratory

Assessment methods: written exam and a laboratory test

Language of instruction: Italian


Objective of course:

The student should understand the basic concepts of computer science, be familiar with software commonly used for office automation, Internet navigation and search, and should acquire an elementary understanding of algorithms.


^ Course content:

Lecture:

- Introduction to the concept of algorithm

- Information representation

- Computer Architecture

- Computer Networks (LAN, Internet,...)

- Basics of computer programming


Laboratory:

- Windows Operating System

- Microsoft Word

- Microsoft Excel

- Internet

- E-mail

- Visual Basic


^ Recommended reading:

Handouts are provided throughout the course.


Notes:

The workload of the laboratory activity corresponds to 2 credits.

This course is obligatory for all students of the Faculty of Science.


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^ Course code:

Course title: Magnetohydrodynamics

Type of course: lectures

Level of course: Advanced Level Course

Year of study: 1st

Duration: semester

Period: 3° Trimester Spring (April - June)

Number of credits: 5

Name of Lecturer: ;G. Zimbardo

Teaching methods: lectures

Assessment methods: oral-seminar

Language of instruction: Italian


Prerequisites:

Fluid Mechanics (50900127)


Course contents:

Electrically conducting fluids; generalized Ohm's law; magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equations; magnetic helicity and cross-helicity; conservation laws in ideal MHD; Alfvèn Theorem and the "frozen-in law"; reduced MHD equations; dissipative effects and the Reynolds number. MHD equilibria; the "pinch effect"; force-free states; the Grad-Shafranov equation. The problem of normal modes in MHD; low-frequency waves. Resistive instability. Quasi-linear approximations and the problem of turbulence in MHD.


^ Recommended reading:

Handouts are given throughout the course


*******************************************************************************

Course code:

Course title: Advanced Quantum Mechanics

Type of course: lectures

Level of course: Advanced Level Course

Year of study: 1st

Duration: semester

Period: 2° Trimester Spring (January-March)

Number of credits: 5

Name of Lecturer: R. Fiore

Teaching methods: lectures

Assessment methods: oral-seminar

Language of instruction: Italian


Objective of course:




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