HISTORY OF PHYSICS

HISTORY OF PHYSICS

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iten
Code
61743
ACADEMIC YEAR
2018/2019
CREDITS
6 credits during the 3nd year of 8758 PHYSICS (L-30) GENOVA

6 credits during the 2nd year of 9011 Mathematics (LM-40) GENOVA

6 credits during the 2nd year of 9012 PHYSICS (LM-17) GENOVA

6 credits during the 1st year of 9012 PHYSICS (LM-17) GENOVA

6 credits during the 1st year of 9017 Materials Science and Engineering (LM-53) GENOVA

6 credits during the 2nd year of 9017 Materials Science and Engineering (LM-53) GENOVA

SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
FIS/08
LANGUAGE
Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
GENOVA (PHYSICS)
semester
2° Semester
Teaching materials

OVERVIEW

The course covers some recent developments in Physics, seen from the historical point of view. It is divided into two parts: A) transition from classical physics to quantum mechanics; B) birth and early development of Nuclear Physics, with particular reference to research in Italy

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Development of a critical spirit towards the conceptual bases of physics.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

Complete the knowledge of some important aspects of twentieth century physics with the historical approach.

To develop a critical attitude towards the conceptual foundations of physics.

To know the historical dimension of physics, with particular reference to its developments in the twentieth century.

To deepen the most important figures that contributed to the birth of Quantum Mechanics and Nuclear Physics, and their specific contributions.

Teaching methods

Method followed:

reconstruct the scientific development of the various topics studied on the basis of an analysis of the original articles and the main archival sources available. Many of the topics are also dealt with in other courses, but here they are analyzed differently, that is, in their process of discovery and development. For example we will study the mechanisms that led to the affirmation of certain theories to the detriment of others, or the limits in some experiments, which afterwards have been defined as crucial, or finally the interpretative difficulties of certain results, and then we will analyze the link , in the various stages of development, between theoretical formulations and experimental verifications.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

Part I: From Classical Physics to Quantum Mechanics

1) The three great discoveries of the end of the 19th century: X-rays, radioactivity, the electron.

2) The birth of atomic physics and the first classical models of atom: 1897-1910.

3) The problem of the black body radiation nd the discovery of the constant "h" of Planck: 1899-1900.

4) Phenomenologies that can not be explained classically: the photoelectric effect, the atomic heat of the solids, the atomic and molecular spectra.

5) The first developments of the quantum hypotheses and their affirmation: 1900-1911.

6) The experiments of scattering of alpha particles against heavy atoms (H. Geiger-E.Marsden: 1908-1910) and the discovery of the atomic nucleus (E. Rutherford, 1911).

7) The birth of the first quantum theory of the atom (N.Bohr 1913).

8) The experiments of H.Moseley (1914) and the introduction of the atomic number.

9) Towards a new interpretation of the periodic table of elements (N.Bohr-D.Koster, 1919).

Part II. Birth and Development of Nuclear Physics: from the nucleus to fission

1) From alpha-particle scattering experiments against light atoms to the discovey of the proton (E. Rutherford, 1919).

2) The realization of the first nuclear transmutations with alpha particles (E. Rutherford, J. Chadwick, P.M.S. Blackett, W. Bothe: 1919-1931).

3) The development of new experimental devices: the “chamber” of Wilson (1911), the Geiger-Muller counter (1928), the” controlled chamber” of Blackett-Occhialini (1932).

4) The discovery of the neutron (J. Chadwick, 1932).

5) From the first studies on cosmic rays (V. Hess, 1912) to the discovery of the positron (C.D. Anderson 1932).

6) The problem of beta decay and the formulation of the Fermi theory (December 1933).

7) The discovery of radioactivity induced by alpha particles (F. Joliot-I, Curie, January 1934).

8) The discovery of radioactivity induced by neutrons and the effect of their slowing down (E. Fermi, March-October 1934).

9) The discovery of nuclear fission (O. Hahn-F. Strassmann, 1938).

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

Lecture notes of Professor.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Exam Board

NADIA ROBOTTI (President)

PIERANTONIO ZANGHI'

PAOLO PRATI

MATTEO LEONE

ROBERTA CARDINALE

LESSONS

Teaching methods

Method followed:

reconstruct the scientific development of the various topics studied on the basis of an analysis of the original articles and the main archival sources available. Many of the topics are also dealt with in other courses, but here they are analyzed differently, that is, in their process of discovery and development. For example we will study the mechanisms that led to the affirmation of certain theories to the detriment of others, or the limits in some experiments, which afterwards have been defined as crucial, or finally the interpretative difficulties of certain results, and then we will analyze the link , in the various stages of development, between theoretical formulations and experimental verifications.

LESSONS START

The teaching will take place in the second semester.

EXAMS

Exam description

Oral examination

Assessment methods

The assessment is conducted by the responsible professor and another expert in the subject. It has a duration that varies between about 20 and about 40 minutes. It is divided, for each student, on three questions that concern the program of the course and which allow the commission to judge, as well as the preparation, the degree of achievement of the objectives of the course