GENERAL PHYSICS 4 / Curriculum
Course title General Physics 4
Code F104
Status Lectures(60), Seminars (15), Numerical exercises (30)
Level Fundamental course
Year 1. Semester 4.
ECTS 9 ECTS credits
Lecturer Branko Vuković, Associate Professor, Matko Mužević, teaching assistant
Course objective Understanding the basic physical concepts and relations connected with the structure of matter, kinetic theory of gases, thermodynamics, structure of atom, nuclear reactions, standard model of particles. Get prepared for advanced cources that require knowledge in named fields.
Prerequisites Competences acquired in General Physics I, General Physics II, Mathematics 1, Mathematics 2.
Learning outcomes: After successfully completed course, students will be able to:

  1. Define and describe terms in the field of thermodynamics.
  2. Determine the relationship between temperature and mean kinetic energy of molecules in kinetic-molecular theory.
  3. Derive the equation of state of an ideal gas and explain the generalization to real gases (Van der Wals equation).
  4. Describe the means of heat transfer and the change of states of matter.
  5. Evaluate the ratio of heat capacities at constant volume and constant pressure.
  6. Apply the laws of thermodynamics.
  7. Define Helmholtz free energy, enthalpy and Gibbs free energy as thermodynamic potentials.
  8. Comment on the notion of ultraviolet catastrophe.
  9. Comment on Bohr’s postulates and the quantum mechanical approach to the structure of atoms.
  10. Describe the fundamental forces in nature; describe the structure of matter.
  11. Describe the nature and types of nuclear reactions (fission and fusion) and decays (alpha, beta, gamma decay).
  12. Explain the impact of radiation on organisms.
  13. Define basic concepts in the field of cosmology and elementary particles.
  14. Interpret a graphical representation of the physical quantities and their mutual dependence.
  15. Describe and interpret demonstration experiments in the above areas.
  16. Evaluate the results obtained by solving tasks.
Teaching activity ECTS Learning outcome Students activity Methods of evaluation Points
min max
Class attendance 0,5 1-16 Class attendance Evidence list (handwritten signature of the student) 0 5
(midterm exams)
5 1-16 Expressions of definitions and physical laws. Performs mathematical expressions for certain physical quantities. Written midterms
(3 exams per semester).
0 45
 Seminars 1 16 The research on a given topic and writing text seminars. Drawing up a presentation and an oral presentation of the seminar. Rating of the written seminar (up to 5 points), and oral presentation score (up to 5 points). 0 10
Homework 0,5 14-16 Solving numerical problems. Checking and discussions on the following exercises or consultation. 0 10
Final exam 3 1-16 Numerical exercises as written and oral assessment test understanding of physical laws. Written and oral examination. 0 30
Total 9 0 100
Consultations Dr Branko Vuković, Associate Professor: Monday, 12 – 13
Dr Matko Mužević, Monday, 12 – 13
Gained competencies Understanding of the postulates of statistical and thermodynamic description of
many – particle systems. Associating law of entropy in isolated systems and phenomenological formulation of second law of thermodynamics. Explaining concept of heat engines using p – V diagram. Applying basic laws of thermodynamics on phase transitions. Present historical development of the idea of atomic structure. Solving Schrödinger equation for simple cases. Describing structure of atomic nucleus. Explaining concept of nuclear reactor. Developing skills for scientific research. Developing writing and speaking communication skills. Using scientific terminology correctly and with self confidence.
Content (Course curriculum) Structure of matter; amount of substance, mol, Brown’s motion. Diffusion. Molecular forces. States of matter. Kinetic theory of gases. Ideal gas law. Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution. Temperature. Thermometrics. Changes between states of matter. Humidity of air. Phase change graph, triple point of water. Calorimetrics; heat measurements, heat capacity. Calorimeters. Boling point, melting point, heat of transformation. Dalton’s law. Real gases, Van der Waals equation. Thermodynamics; internal energy, work. First law of thermodynamics. Gay-Lussac-Joule experiment. Mayer’s relation. Entalpy. Adiabatic process. Second law of thermodynamics, perpetuum mobile. Reversible and irreversible processes. Statistical theory of heat. Entropy. Carnot cycle. Efficiency of a Carnot engine. Clausius-Clapeyron equation. Engines. Thermodynamic temperature scale. Refrigerators. Heating pump. Heat transport.  Spectrum of black body radiation. Kirchhoff’s law of radiation. Planck law of black body radiation. Stefan law of radiation. Structure of atoms. Schrödinger wave equation. Heisenberg principle of uncertainty. Quantum numbers. The Pauli exclusion principle. Periodic table. Atomic nucleus. Radioactivity. Radioactive decay law. Nuclear reactions; nuclear fission, nuclear fusion. Accelerators, Roentgen’s radiation. Interactions of radiation with matters. Radiation dosimetry. Radiation protection. Particle physics; quarks. The standard model of cosmology.
Recommended reading
  1. Cindro, N., Fizika 1, Školska knjiga, Zagreb, 1991.
  3. Kulišić, P.,  Mehanika i toplina, Školska knjiga, Zagreb, 2005.
  4. Kulišić, P., Lopac, V., Elektromagnetske pojave i struktura tvari, Školska knjiga, Zagreb, 1991.
  5. Kulišić, P., Bistričić, L., Horvat, D. et al.,  Riješeni zadaci iz mehanike i topline, Školska knjiga, Zagreb, 2007.
Additional reading
  1. Paić, M., Toplina, Termodinamika, Energija, Liber, Zagreb, 1993.
  2. Halliday, D., Resnick, R., Walker, J., Fundamentals of physics, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, 2003.
  3. Young, H., Freedman, R., University Physics, with modern physics Addison-Wesley Publ., New York, 2020.
  4. Giambattista, A i suradnici, College physics, McGraw Hill, 2007.
  5. E. Babić, R. Krsnik i M. Očko. Zbirka riješenih zadataka iz fizike. Školska knjiga, Zagreb 2004.
Instructional methods Lectures (60 hours) with the use of Power Point presentations, interactive simulation, the performance of demonstration experiments, addressing selected sample assignments, individual and group work, discussions and tests to check knowledge.
Numerical exercises instructed by an assistant (30 hours) with the lead of the assistant. Within the auditory exercises students receive additional tasks for the exercise, which are solved alone for the homework. Checking solutions and discussion on the tutorials.
Student presentations and discussions of specific topics at the seminar (15 hours).
Exam formats Students have the opportunity to take the numerical problems and theories through three exams (colloquium) per semester. If for each area in each colloquium achieve more than 60% of the points are exempt from the written and oral examination.
Other students take a written and oral exam.
Language Croatian. English (mentoring students).
Quality control and successfulness follow up A questionnaire will be offered to students at the end of the semester with a goal of finding weak spots in the conception and delivery of the course.
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