GENERAL PHYSICS

- 1. Physics

2. Quantities and measurements

3. Mechanics

4. Computers and programming

In this course unit students are provided with fundamental knowledge on classical physics. With emphasis on mechanics, the fundamental building block of the whole of physics, this knowledge enables them to better understand the world, its constituent parts and their interactions and most of the daily phenomena. The use of the computer allows some elements of the real world to be added which render an analytic resolution of the associated equations impossible.

Using suitably the physics-mathematical language to structure and express opinions.

Applying physic concepts, principles and theories to problematic situations of the real world.

Searching, selecting and organizing information to later turn into applicable knowledge to daily phenomena.

Adopting scientific strategies suitable for problem solving and decision making.

Use the computer to solve numerically physics problems that are not treatable analytically.

Performing activities in an autonomous, responsible and creative way, in a collaborative environment.

Physical quantities and units. Scalar and vector physical quantities. Dimensions of quantities and dimensional analysis. Unit systems. Uncertainty in measurements and significant figures.

Mechanics I: forces and movements. Elementary kinematics and one-dimensional motion with constant speed and constant acceleration. Two-dimensional motion and its specific quantities. Newton’s laws of dynamics. Common forces. Applications of Newton’s laws to the study of static and dynamical phenomena.

Mechanics II: energy, conservation of energy and types of energy. Forms of energy and work-energy theorems. Conservative and non-conservative systems. Linear and angular momentum and their conservation.

Use of the computer. Velocity- and position-dependent forces. Differential equations stemming from Newton’s laws. Numerical integration of differential equations: Euler, Heun and Runge-Kutta algorithms. Programming of the algorithms and applications.

David Halliday, Robert Resnick & Jearl Walker. Fundamentos de Física, Vol. 1. Ed. LTC - Livros Técnicos e Científicos.

Steven Chapra & Raymond Canale. Métodos Numéricos para Engenharia (5ª edição). Ed. McGraw-Hill.

E-learning

Continuous assessment is privileged: 2 or 3 digital written documents (e-folios) during the semester (40%) and a presence-based final exam (p-folio) in the end of the semester (60%). In due time, students can alternatively choose to perform one final presence-based exam (100%).

Course unit pre-requisites:

•mastering fundamental contents of Physics that are included in the various coursebooks in use for secondary education in Portugal;

•knowledge of elementary mathematical calculus.