Physics II

2 YEAR 1 semester 9 CREDITS
Prof. Vittorio Foglietti

2019-20 to 2022-23

Vittorio Foglietti (1cfu)

Simone Sanna (4cfu)

Daniele di Castro (4cfu)

  Code: 8037952


LEARNING OUTCOMES: Learning the basic elements of Electromagnetism and fundamental physical principles of quantum mechanics.

Knowledge of the basic principles of electromagnetism and quantum mechanics useful for the own field of study. Understanding of advanced books on the arguments treated during the course.

Capacity to develop autonomously basic conceptual ideas using arguments treated during the course.

Capacity to evaluate autonomously ideas or project using the knowledge acquired in the course.

Capacity to share informations and ideas on the basis of knwoledge acquired in the course.
Comprehension of specific problems and relative solutions proposed.

The knowledge acquired in the course must be of help for the student in future courses, improving the capacity of autonomous learning.


1) Electric Charge and Electric Field : Conductors, Insulators, and Induced Charges.
Coulomb’s Law. Electric Field and Electric Forces. Electric Field Lines. Charge and Electric Flux, Gauss’’ s Law. Charges on Conductors.
2) Electric Potential: Electric Potential Energy, Electric Potential, Equipotential Surfaces, Potential Gradient. Definition of electric dipole. Approximated formula for the electric potential of a dipole at large distances.
3) Capacitors and Capacitance. Capacitors in series and parallel configuration. Electrostatic Potential Energy of a Capacitor. Polarization in Dielectrics. Induced Dipoles. Alignment of Polar Molecules. Electric Field inside a dielectric material. Relative dielectric constant. Capacitors with dielectric materials.
4) Electric current, Vector current density J, Resistivity (ρ) and conductivity ( σ) of materials, Ohm’s law in vector and scalar form, Resistors and resistance, Microscopic theory of electric transport in metals (Drude model). Differences between thermal velocity and drift velocity of charge carriers. Thermal coefficient of resistivity for metal and semiconductors. Resistors in parallel. Kirchhoff current law and the conservation of charge. Resistors in series. Kirchhoff voltage law ( KVL) and the conservative nature of electric field. Resistor and capacitor in series. Charging a capacitor. Solving the equation for current and voltage in RC circuits, time constant.
5) Introduction to magnetism, historical notes. Magnetic Force on a moving charged particle in a Magnetic Field. Definition of the vector ( cross ) product. Vector product expressed by the formal determinant and calculated by Sarrus Rule. Thomson’s q/m experiment and the discovery of the electron. Magnetic force on a current carrying conductor. Local equation for the magnetic force, the second formula of Laplace. Introduction to current loops, the torque. Force and Torque on a current loop in presence of a constant magnetic field. The magnetic dipole moment. Torque in vector form. Stable and unstable equilibrium states. Equivalence between a magnetic dipole of a current loop and the dipole of a magnet. Potential energy of a dipole moment in a magnetic field. Force exerted on a magnetic dipole in a non-uniform magnetic field. Working principle of a dc motor. Generalization of a magnetic dipole to current loops with irregular area. Magnetic dipole of a coil consisting of n loops in series. The Hall effect.
6) Historical introduction to the Biot Savart Laplace equation. Electric current as sources of magnetic field, the current element. The Biot Savat Laplace (BSL) equation. BSL equation for an infinitely long wire with an electric current flow. The flux of the magnetic field B. The Gauss Law for the magnetic field. Forces acting on wires with electric current flow. Magnetic field on the axis of a current loop and a coil. Ampere Circuital Law. Definition of a Solenoid. Magnetic field from a long cylindrical conductor. Magnetic field from a toroidal coil. The Bohr magneton. Magnetic materials. Paramagnetism, Diamagnetism, Ferromagnetism.
7) Magnetic induction experiments. Faraday Law. Lenz Law. Flux swept by a coil and Motional Electromotive Force. Induced Electric Field. Displacement current. The four Maxwell equations in integral form. Symmetry of the Maxwell equation. Self induction. Inductors. Inductor as circuit element.Self inductance of a coil. Magnetic Field Energy. The R-L circuit. The LC circuit. The RLC series circuit.
8) The electromagnetic waves. Derivation of EM waves from Maxwell Equation. The electromagnetic spectrum. Electromagnetic energy flow and the Poynting vector. Energy in a sinusoidal wave. Electromagnetic momentum flow. Standing Electromagnetic waves.
9) Light waves behaving as particles. The photocurrent experiment. Threshold frequency and Stopping Potential. Einstein’s explanation of Light absorbed as “Photons”. Light Emitted as Photons: X-Ray Production. Light Scattered as Photons: Compton Scattering.
10) Interference and diffraction of waves. The Wave Particle Duality. De Broglie wavelength. The x-ray diffraction from a crystal lattice, the Bragg’s Law. The electron diffraction experiment of Davisson and Germer. The double slit experiment with electrons. Waves in one dimension: Particle Waves, the one-dimensional Schrödinger equation. Physical interpretation of the Wave Function. Wave Packets. Uncertainty principle. Particle in a box. Energy-levels and wave functions for a particle in a box. The tunneling effect.