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General Physics-I

General Physics-I


Kuna Hemasundara Rao


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General Physics-I   

Subject code (credits): CUTM2353, (3-0-0)

Learning Objectives:

1. To learn about the various laws of motion.
2. To make students understand about the waves and its properties.
3. To build concept about the various aspects of radioactivity and atomic structure.


 Mechanics -         Teaching Hours: 15 Hours

Laws of motion: Motion and its physical interpretation, Newton’s law of motion, Law of
conservation of linear momentum and its applications. Static and kinetic friction, laws of
friction. Circular motion: Centripetal and Centrifugal force, Projectile motions and its

Simple Harmonic Motion and Elasticity: Simple Harmonic Oscillations. Differential
equation of SHM and its solution. Kinetic energy, potential energy, total energy and their
time-average values. Elastic and inelastic collisions between particles. Elasticity, stress,
strain, and Relation between the Elastic constants.


Thermal Physics                        Teaching Hours: 15 Hours

First Law of Thermodynamics: Thermodynamic Variables, Thermodynamic Equilibrium,
Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics & Concept of Temperature, Concept of Work & Heat, State
Functions, First Law of Thermodynamics and its differential form, Internal Energy, various
thermodynamic processes, Relation between CP and CV, Work Done during Isothermal and
Adiabatic Processes.

Second Law of Thermodynamics: Reversible and Irreversible process with examples.
Conversion of Work into Heat and Heat into Work. Heat Engines. Carnot engine & efficiency,
Kelvin-Planck and Clausius Statements. Concept of entropy.

Kinetic theory of gases and Theory of Radiation: Real and Ideal gas, Maxwell-Boltzmann
Law of Distribution of velocities. Mean, RMS and Most Probable Speeds. Mean Free Path.
Blackbody radiation, Spectral distribution, Concept of Energy Density, Derivation of Planck's
law, Wien’s distribution law, Rayleigh-Jeans Law, Stefan Boltzmann Law and Wien’s


Wave and Optics :                  Teaching Hours: 15 Hours

Wave: Wave motion, Wave equation, longitudinal and transverse waves, Plane Progressive
(Travelling) Waves, Nature and properties of electromagnetic waves, Speed of sound wave
in different media and their properties, Velocity of Transverse Vibrations of Stretched
Strings, Newton’s hypothesis, Laplace correction in speed of sound.
Optics: Electromagnetic spectrum, Interference, Reflection, refraction polarization and
diffraction of light. Young’s double slit experiment, Refractive index and total internal
reflection of light. Microscopes and astronomical telescopes (reflecting and refracting) and
their magnifying powers. Physical and Chromatic aberrations.



Session 8:


  • Introduction to elasticity and its importance
  • Stress and strain: definitions and calculations
  • Hooke's law and elastic behavior of materials
  • Elastic constants: Young's modulus, shear modulus, and bulk modulus
  • Problem-solving exercises on elasticity

Session 9:

Relation between Elastic Constants

  • Relationship between Young's modulus, shear modulus, and bulk modulus
  • Poisson's ratio and its significance in elasticity
  • Calculations and examples involving elastic constants
  • Problem-solving exercises on the relation between elastic constants
  • Applications of elastic constants in engineering and materials science

Session 10:

Review and Recap

  • Recap of the topics covered in the previous sessions
  • Practice problems and exercises covering all concepts
  • Interactive group discussions on challenging topics
  • Addressing doubts and clarifying concepts
  • Preparation for the upcoming assessment or exam

Session 11:

Laws of Motion (Advanced Problems)


Session 16:

Introduction to Thermodynamics

  • Overview of thermodynamics as a branch of physics
  • Thermodynamic variables and equilibrium
  • Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics and the concept of temperature
  • Thermodynamic systems and their classifications

Problem-solving exercises on basic thermodynamic concepts

Session 17:

First Law of Thermodynamics

  • Concept of work and heat in thermodynamics
  • State functions and their significance
  • Statement and derivation of the First Law of Thermodynamics
  • Internal energy and its relation to work and heat
  • Thermodynamic processes: isothermal, adiabatic, isobaric, and isochoric
  • Calculation of work done during isothermal and adiabatic processes

Session 18:

Specific Heat and Heat Capacities

  • Introduction to specific heat and heat capacities
  • Difference between specific heat at constant pressure (CP) and constant volume (CV)
  • Calculation and applications of specific heat capacities
  • Problem-solving exercises on heat capacities and their relation to internal energy

Session 19:

Second Law of Thermodynamics

  • Reversible and irreversible processes: definitions and examples
  • Conversion of work into heat and heat into work
  • Introduction to heat engines and their operation
  • Carnot engine: efficiency and limitations
  • Kelvin-Planck and Clausius statements of the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Session 20:

Entropy and its Concept

  • Introduction to entropy and its significance in thermodynamics
  • Calculation of entropy changes in reversible and irreversible processes
  • Entropy as a measure of disorder and randomness
  • Entropy change in heat transfer and reversible cycles
  • Applications of entropy in engineering and physics

Session 21:

Kinetic Theory of Gases

  • Introduction to kinetic theory of gases
  • Real and ideal gases: characteristics and assumptions
  • Maxwell-Boltzmann law of distribution of velocities
  • Calculation of mean, RMS, and most probable speeds
  • Mean free path and its significance in gas molecules' motion

Session 22:

Ideal Gas Law and Deviations

  • Derivation and application of the ideal gas law
  • Deviations from ideal gas behavior: Van der Waals equation
  • Calculation of real gas properties using Van der Waals equation
  • Discussion on compressibility factor and critical point

Session 23:

Theory of Radiation

  • Introduction to blackbody radiation
  • Spectral distribution of blackbody radiation
  • Wien's displacement law and Rayleigh-Jeans law
  • Stefan-Boltzmann law and its applications
  • Problem-solving exercises on blackbody radiation

Session 24:

Planck's Law and Quantum Nature of Radiation

  • Derivation of Planck's law for blackbody radiation
  • Concept of energy density in radiation
  • Quantum nature of radiation and the photon concept
  • Applications of Planck's law in explaining experimental observations
  • Comparison of classical and quantum theories of radiation

Session 25:

Wien's Distribution Law

  • Derivation and explanation of Wien's distribution law
  • Calculation of peak wavelength using Wien's displacement law
  • Relationship between temperature and the shape of the blackbody radiation curve
  • Application of Wien's law in astrophysics and thermal imaging

Session 26:

Review and Recap

  • Recap of the topics covered in the previous sessions
  • Practice problems and exercises covering all concepts
  • Interactive group discussions on challenging topics

Addressing doubts and clarifying concepts

Session 27:

Thermodynamic Processes and Diagrams

  • P-V and T-S diagrams for different thermodynamic processes
  • Analysis and interpretation of thermodynamic diagrams
  • Calculation of work and heat transfer in various processes
  • Applications of thermodynamic diagrams in engineering and physics

Session 28:

: Heat Engines and Efficiency

  • Detailed study of heat engines and their components
  • Calculation of engine efficiency using the Carnot cycle
  • Comparison of different heat engines and their efficiencies
  • Analysis of factors affecting engine performance
  • Discussion on the practical applications of heat engines

Session 29:

  • Reversible and Irreversible Processes
    • In-depth understanding of reversible and irreversible processes
    • Examples and applications of reversible and irreversible processes
    • Calculation of entropy changes in reversible and irreversible processes
    • Analysis of practical limitations and consequences of irreversibility
    • Case studies on the efficiency of reversible and irreversible processes

    upcoming assessment or exam

Session 30:

Applications of Thermal Physics

  • Exploration of real-life applications of thermal physics
  • Thermodynamics in energy production and conservation
  • Heat transfer mechanisms: conduction, convection, and radiation
  • Thermal equilibrium in engineering systems
  • Discussion on current research and developments in thermal physics


Session 31:

Introduction to Waves

  • Overview of wave motion and its characteristics
  • Wave equation and its significance
  • Differentiating between longitudinal and transverse waves
  • Examples and applications of waves in various phenomena

Problem-solving exercises on wave properties

Session 32:

Plane Progressive Waves

  • Concept of plane progressive (traveling) waves
  • Wave fronts, rays, and propagation of waves
  • Calculation of wave speed and wavelength
  • Superposition principle and wave interference
  • Practical examples and demonstrations of plane progressive waves

Session 33:

Electromagnetic Waves

  • Introduction to electromagnetic waves
  • Nature and properties of electromagnetic waves
  • Types of electromagnetic waves and their applications
  • Speed of sound waves in different media and their properties
  • Discussion on the relationship between sound and electromagnetic waves

Session 34:

Transverse Vibrations of Stretched Strings

  • Analysis of transverse vibrations in stretched strings
  • Calculation of velocity of transverse vibrations
  • Harmonics and overtones in vibrating strings
  • Newton's hypothesis and Laplace correction in the speed of sound

Problem-solving exercises on transverse vibrations in strings

Session 35:

Electromagnetic Spectrum

  • Understanding the electromagnetic spectrum
  • Different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum and their properties
  • Applications of different regions of the spectrum
  • Discussion on the uses of specific electromagnetic waves in technology and communication

Session 36:

Interference of Light

  • Introduction to interference of light
  • Types of interference: constructive and destructive interference
  • Young's double-slit experiment and its interpretation
  • Calculation of fringe width and interference patterns
  • Applications of interference in science and technology

Session 37:

Reflection and Refraction of Light

  • Laws of reflection and refraction
  • Calculation of angles of reflection and refraction
  • Total internal reflection and its applications
  • Refractive index and its significance in optics
  • Problem-solving exercises on reflection and refraction

Session 38:

Polarization of Light

  • Explanation of polarization and polarized light
  • Types of polarizers: linear and circular polarizers
  • Malus' law and analysis of polarized light
  • Applications of polarization in optical devices
  • Discussion on the role of polarization in nature and technology

Session 39:

Diffraction of Light

  • Understanding diffraction of light
  • Diffraction patterns and their characteristics
  • Diffraction gratings and their applications
  • Diffraction of light through single and multiple slits
  • Problem-solving exercises on diffraction of light

Session 40:

Young's Double Slit Experiment

  • Detailed explanation of Young's double-slit experiment
  • Calculation of fringe spacing and interference patterns
  • Analysis of interference colors and wavelengths
  • Practical demonstrations of Young's experiment
  • Applications of double-slit interference in optics and spectroscopy

Session 41:

Refractive Index and Total Internal Reflection

  • Recap of laws of refraction and reflection
  • Definition and calculation of refractive index
  • Snell's law and its applications
  • Total internal reflection and critical angle
  • Discussion on the optical phenomena based on total internal reflection

Session 42:

Microscopes and Astronomical Telescopes

  • Introduction to microscopes and telescopes
  • Types of microscopes: compound and electron microscopes
  • Types of telescopes: reflecting and refracting telescopes
  • Calculation of magnifying power in microscopes and telescopes
  • Discussion on the principles and limitations of microscopes and telescopes

Session 43:

Aberrations in Optical Systems

  • Explanation of physical and chromatic aberrations
  • Types of aberrations and their causes
  • Analysis of aberrations in optical systems
  • Methods to minimize or correct aberrations
  • Case studies on the impact of aberrations in optical devices

Session 44:

Review and Recap

  • Recap of the topics covered in the previous sessions
  • Practice problems and exercises covering all concepts
  • Interactive group discussions on challenging topics
  • Addressing doubts and clarifying concepts

Preparation for the upcoming assessment or exam

Session 45:

Advanced Optics and Applications

  • Advanced topics in optics: wave optics, diffraction, and polarization
  • Applications of optics in technology and scientific research
  • Emerging trends and developments in optics
  • Discussion on current research and discoveries in the field of optics
  • Open-ended problem-solving exercises to encourage critical thinking

Reference books:

1. NCERT Physics Part 1 And part 2.
2. An introduction to mechanics, D. Kleppner, R.J. Kolenkow, 1973, McGraw-Hill.
3. Mechanics, Berkeley Physics, vol.1, C.Kittel, W.Knight, 2007, Tata McGraw-Hill.
4. Physics, Resnick, Halliday and Walker 8/e. 2008, Wiley.
5. Heat and Thermodynamics, M.W. Zemansky, Richard Dittman, 1981, McGraw-Hill.
6. Thermal Physics, S. Garg, R. Bansal and Ghosh, 2nd Edition, 1993, Tata McGraw-Hill.
7. The Physics of Waves and Oscillations, N.K. Bajaj, 1998, Tata McGraw Hill.
8. Optics, Ajoy Ghatak, 2008, Tata McGraw Hill

Our Main Teachers

Kuna Hemasundara Rao

Asst. Professor, dept. of Physics

Assistant Professor in the dept. of  Physics, Centurion University of Technology and Management, Vizianagaram, A.P.