Unit Principles and Didactics of Physics
 Course
 Primary teacher education
 Studyunit Code
 A001990
 Curriculum
 In all curricula
 CFU
 9
 Course Regulation
 Coorte 2021
 Offered
 2023/24
 Type of studyunit
 Obbligatorio (Required)
 Type of learning activities
 Attività formativa integrata
Principles and Didactics of Physics
Code  A001991 

CFU  8 
Teacher  Silvia Corezzi 
Teachers 

Hours 

Learning activities  Caratterizzante 
Area  Discipline fisiche 
Academic discipline  FIS/01 
Type of studyunit  Obbligatorio (Required) 
Language of instruction  Italian 
Contents  1) Introduction to the study of physics 2) Introduction to the study of uncertainties in physical measurements 3) Elements di mechanics: kinematics and dynamics of a material point 4) Elements of electrostatics 5) Fluids: statics and dynamics 
Reference texts  1) Lecture notes made available by the teacher; 2) D. Halliday, R. Resnik, K.S. Krane, ”Fondamenti di Fisica”  Casa Editrice Ambrosiana 3) Alternatively, any other textbook of Physics, including a scientific high school textbook. Suggested reading: Matteo Leone, "Insegnare ed apprendere Fisica nella scuola dell'infanzia e primaria"  Mondadori Education 
Educational objectives  The course of EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS EDUCATIONAL AND APPLICATIONS aims at providing the student with basic scientific knowledge, through: (1) the basic physical principles for the understanding of the natural phenomena at a macroscopic and microscopic level; (2) the knowledge bases for a conscious application of the scientific method during the educational activity in the primary school. The student is expected to acquire: (1) a basic knowledge of the laws of motion, of electric phenomena, and the behavior of fluids; (2) the fundamentals of the theory of errors in the physical measurements. The lectures are devoted to provide the students with the theoretical basis of the different arguments, and are supported by numerical and conceptual exercises. The laboratory activity will allow the students to exercise the skills acquired. The course is expected to make the student autonomous in finding the best conceptual solutions and acquiring the capability for numerical evaluation, going beyond notionism. The student is expected to develop logical skills, and demonstrate an ability to apply the knowledge acquired when implementing a practical educational program for the primary school students. 
Prerequisites  Mandatory prerequisites: (0) Willing to learn; (1) Basic knowledge of algebra and geometry; (2) manipulation of numerical and algebraic expressions; (3) reading understanding. 
Teaching methods  The course of EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS EDUCATIONAL AND APPLICATIONS is composed of a theory module of 8 CFU in the form of facetoface lectures, and a module of 1 CFU in the form of didactic laboratory. Concerning the theory module, part of the lectures is devoted to the solution of selected exercises, with the aim of providing the students with the necessary tools and methods to approach physical problems. The proposed exercises are solved by the teacher with a direct involvement of the students. Short notes prepared by the teacher can be downloaded from the Unistudium website, together with collections of exercises on the different arguments. Part of the proposed exercises includes a full explanation of the solution process and references to the theoretical knowledge imparted with the lessons. 
Other information  Attendance of lessons in facultative but strongly encouraged. 
Learning verification modality  The final exam of EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS EDUCATIONAL AND APPLICATIONS is composed of two partial tests, one of theory and one concerning the laboratory activity. The final grade is given by 75% theory test + 25% laboratory test. The theory test consists in a written test. It is a multiplechoice test composed by 2030 exercises, about one third theoretical questions and about two thirds numerical exercises. The arguments cover the entire program of the course. The answers are considered valid only if the student has given trace (in the blank space below the text of each exercise) of the solution process. Each exercise is given the same score. Wrong answers are worth zero points. The test is passed if the total score is not lower than 18/30. During the written test, students are only allowed to use the questionnaire sheet, writing instruments, and a scientific calculator. The use of mobile phones, personal notes, textbooks and any other information source is strictly forbidden. For information about DSAstudent support services visit the website http://www.unipg.it/disabilitaedsa 
Extended program   INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF PHYSICS The scientific method. Physical quantities and units of measurement. International System. Dimensional equations.  INTRODUCTION TO ERROR ANALYSIS Measurement methods: direct and indirect measurements. Types of experimental uncertainties: systematic errors, statistical errors, instrument resolution uncertainty. How to represent and use the errors: notation, significant digits, relative error and precision. Estimate of uncertainty by readout of a graduated scale. The estimate of errors in repeated measurements. Statistical analysis of random errors: mean value as the best estimate of a measured quantity; standard deviation from the mean as the best estimate of the uncertainty of a single measurement; standard deviation of the mean (standard error) as the best estimate of the uncertainty of the mean, with a 68% confidence level. Gaussian distribution of repeated measurements affected by random and independent errors. Error propagation: sum and difference; product and quotient; product by a known (without uncertainty) quantity; exponentiation.  VECTORS AND THEIR OPERATIONS Scalar and vector quantities. Graphical representation of vectors. Identifying a vector by means of its components along the axes of a reference system. Decomposition of a vector into component vectors. Basic elements of vector analysis: sum, product by a scalar quantity, scalar product.  KINEMATICS: HOW DO THINGS MOVE? The concept of motion. The trajectory. The fundamental kinematic quantities: position vector, velocity vector (average velocity and instantaneous velocity), acceleration vector (tangential and centripetal acceleration). Motion in the plane as the composition of linear motions along the axes of the chosen Cartesian reference system. Kinematics of the liner motion: time law and spacetime diagram. Kinematic laws of special linear motions: uniform linear motion and uniformly accelerated linear motion. Graphical representation of the laws of linear motions. Example of downward uniformly accelerated motion: the freefall motion of a body near the earth’s surface. Circular motion: description by means of the angular position. Uniform circular motion: centripetal acceleration and period of motion.  DYNAMICS: WHY DO THINGS MOVE? The concept of force. First principle of the dynamics (inertia law). Inertial mass and second principle of the dynamics (Newton’s law). Third principle of the dynamics (action and reaction law). Superposition principle (i.e. independence of simultaneous actions). Recognizing and describing some forces: gravitational force and weight; constraint reaction forces (tension of a wire; normal reaction of a support surface and the “weight sensation”); friction forces: static, dynamic, and viscous; elastic force; electrostatic force (Coulomb’s law). Some case studies: motion along a smooth inclined plane or a plane with friction; notes on the motion of a simple pendulum: period of small oscillations; notes on the motion of a body under the action of an elastic force: period of elastic oscillations.  WORK AND ENERGY General definition of work (done by a variable force). Rapidity with which work is done: the concept of power. Work done by a few important forces: weight, elastic force, dynamic friction, normal reaction force by a support surface, tension force in a simple pendulum, gravitational force, electrostatic force. Definition of potential energy: expression of weight potential energy and elastic potential energy; expression of gravitational potential energy and electrostatic potential energy. Definition of kinetic energy. The kinetic energy theorem. Conservative and dissipative forces. Definition of mechanical energy. Theorem of conservation of mechanical energy.  ELECTRIC FORCE Electrostatic phenomena and electric charge. Microscopic electric structure of matter and atoms. Conductive materials and insulating (dielectric) materials. Charge quantization and elementary charge. Additivity of charge and charge conservation principle. Superposition principle (the electrostatic force is additive). Conservative nature of electrostatic forces and electric potential energy. Electric field and force field lines. Electric potential. Some examples of electric field and electric potential: 1) Electric field and potential generated by a single point charge and by a discrete distribution of point charges. 2) Electric field and potential generated by a uniformly charged infinite plane. 3) Electric field and potential generated by a uniformly charged spherical shell. 4) Electric field and potential generated by a uniformly charged sphere. Application of the superposition principle: field generated by a system of doublecharged parallel planes. Application of the energy conservation theorem: motion of a charged particle in an electrostatic field. Electric conduction in conductive materials. The concept of drift velocity. Intensity of current. Resistance of a conductor and the Ohm’s law. Power dissipated by the current passage through a resistor: the Joule effect.  FLUIDS What’s a fluid. Definition of density and pressure. Fluids at rest: variation of pressure with depth and elevation (Stevino’s law); Archimede’s force and body’s buoyancy. Stationary moving fluids: continuity equation; Bernoulli's equation. 
Principles and Didactics of Physics Lab
Code  A001992 

CFU  1 
Teacher  Francesco Mezzanotte 
Teachers 

Hours 

Learning activities  Caratterizzante 
Area  Discipline fisiche 
Academic discipline  FIS/01 
Type of studyunit  Obbligatorio (Required) 
Contents  In the "Laboratory of Foundations and Didactics of Physics" course, the role of experimental activities in scientific teaching will be explored with particular reference to the didactic work of discovery and direct experience where children can put their hands and eyes on objects, materials and events. The set of all the opportunities, internal and external to the school, useful for giving a practical context to the observation, will be treated, providing some operational information on how to furnish special spaces with simple equipment. Experiences will be presented and discussed to introduce the first experimental rudiments based on measurement and the ability to write a report on the experiment performed. The topics chosen are very general and can be part of the knowledge base that can also be used for the design of educational courses which include: force, Archimedes' principle, thermal phenomena, air, light, color and vision. 
Reference texts  Students will be distributed handouts for the preparation of experiences which will be available on Unistudium in advance, at least one week before each lesson. 
Educational objectives  The laboratory provides the student with skills for the critical analysis of physics teaching paths in kindergarten and primary school and for the planning of original teaching paths that take into account the research results in physics education. Attendance at the laboratory activities will allow the student to: · understand the basic elements of the experimental method; · acquire some physics content useful for teaching in primary and nursery schools; · acquire the ability to carry out laboratory activities and didactic reflections in the physical field through the presentation of paths characterized by the encouragement of observation and direct experimentation, by the rediscovery of poor and recycled materials as an integral part of the laboratory for children, and by constant reference to phenomena, actions and objects of everyday life; · acquire the ability to communicate the results obtained. 
Prerequisites  Basic knowledge of algebra and trigonometry are required. In order to understand the teaching contents, it is advisable to follow or have followed the course of “Foundations and Didactics of Physics”. 
Teaching methods  The course consists of lessons in mixed modality in presence and remotely lasting 3 hours, for a total of 15 hours. Attendance is mandatory for 12 hours. Students will be engaged in the study of laboratory experiences described by specific handouts provided in advance. 
Other information  Students with disabilities or with a certified DSA can contact the teacher privately at the email address francesco.mezzanotte@unipg.it for all the necessary learning customizations. 
Learning verification modality  Gli argomenti trattati riguardano: a) Misure di lunghezza, superficie e volume e incertezze di misura; b) I concetti di massa, peso e densità; la forza di gravità e la forza elastica; c) Il galleggiamento: esempi pratici. d) Le leggi della dinamica, l’energia, il lavoro e la conservazione dell’energia; e) L’equilibrio termico, il calore, la temperatura e i passaggi di stato; f) Osservazioni sull’aria; g) Alla scoperta del sistema elettrico; h) Osservazioni sulla luce; i) Bussole e magnetismo. 
Extended program  Topics covered concern: a) Measurements of length, surface and volume and measurement uncertainties; b) The concepts of mass, weight and density; the force of gravity and the elastic force; c) Floating: practical examples. d) The laws of dynamics, energy, work and conservation of energy; e) Thermal equilibrium, heat, temperature and changes of state; f) Observations on the air; g) Discovering the electricity system; h) Observations on light; i) Compasses and magnetism. 