GIREP95 Physics Dept. Udine University GIREP


University of Udine

Rector: prof. Marzio Strassoldo di Graffembergo

The foundations for the University were laid in 1968, when the Faculty of Modern Languages was opened in collaboration with the University of Trieste. The great success encountered by this Faculty gave rise to a strong popular demand for the creation of a complete and independent university in Udine. Thus it was that the University of Udine was officially established on March 1978 by a Decree of the President of the Italian Republic within the framework of the reconstruction plan that was drawn up following the disasters caused by the earthquake in Friuli that year. The University was seen as the instrument necessary for the cultural, economic and social reconstruction of the region, a rebirth which was based on the culture, language, traditions and history of Friuli.

State Universities are corporate bodies with didactic, scientific, organizational, operating and accounting autonomy. They establish their own Statutes and internal rules and regulations, and perform a public service. The activities of all State Universities are supervised by: the Chancellor, who is the President and legal representative of the University, chairman of the Academic Senate and the Board of Governors, and has full decisionmaking powers over all University activities; the Registrar, who is directely responsible to the Chancellor for the Central Administration of the University and for implementing measures decided upon by the Chancellor; the Academic Senate and the Board of Governors. Udine has 7 faculties: Arts, Modern Languages, Economics, Engineering, Medicine, Agriculture, Science, offering 13 degree courses and 9 short degrees courses. In this year 1995 the total number of student is 11187; the short degree students are 444; the Faculty members are 548; the Administrators and Technicians are 450.

The short degrees activated are: Translation and Interpreting (in Gorizia), Enviromental and Resources Engineering, Electronic Engeneering, Mechanical Engineering (in Pordenone).

The University of Udine is built around four main sites which house the scientific, humanistic, economic, and medical Faculties.

The Central Library acts as a support structure for teaching and research activities in the Faculties and for programs sponsored by the University and by outside agencies or individuals. The Library provides consultation, loan and bibliographic documentation facilities.

Research activities are performed on an independent and, to a certain degree, competitive basis by Departments, Institutes, and the Interdepartmental Center.

The folloving Interdepartimental Centres coordinate the research: Centre for Plurilingualism (CIP), Centre for Didactic Research (CIRD), Centre for Environmental Training and Research (CIFRA), Centre for Research on the Language and Culture of the Friuli Region (CIRF), Centre for Research, Development and Training in Cartography, Remote Sensing and Land Information Systems (CARTESIO), Centre for Biotechnological Research (CIRB).

Physics Department of Udine University

Director of the Department: prof. Flavio Waldner

The Physics Department of the University of Udine, which has at present a staff of 16 persons, started as a Physics Institute in 1978 and became a Department, with full administrative independence, in 1992.

Teaching activity is based on fundamental Physics courses for students of Computer Science, Mathematics, Engineering, Agricultural Sciences: in these courses a total of about 1000 students are involved. Laboratory classes are organized for the first two year courses of physics (mechanics, thermology, fundamentals of electromagnetism and optics). In addition two specialized courses are taught for the computer science students: one in fundamentals of quantum mechanics, aimed to give the student a reasonable understanding of semiconductor devices, and the other in electronics, aimed at putting the student in practical contact (the course is ttaught mainly in the lab) with such problems as transputer networks practical construction and interfacing, use of principal standards devices for computer interfacing, parallel processing, data taking, etc.

An average of 6 students per year are involved in their theses, followed by various teachers of the Department.

The Department has a pretty good mechanical shop and a quite powerful network of computers and/or work stations: all of them are connected in a local network and from there to the international highways like Internet and WWW.

Meeting activity is obviously just at its beginning: in 1992 we organized a three day workshop on neural networks; in 1993 a strong organizative effort was necessary for organizing the 79th general meeting of the Italian Physical Society, with more 700 participants. The actual GIREP meeting continues this valuable activity.

Research is strictly experimental and always at an international level: it can be summarized as follows:

  1. metereology: 10 remote stations in Friuli are collected in a network and broadcast every 30' their data to a satellite. The data are sent first to Darmstadt, filtered and sent back to Udine, again via satellite, for the final analysis, to allow a detailed analysis of rapid and localized phenomena;
  2. high energy physics: this is at the moment the main activity of the Department, and well established both at national and international level:
  3. solid state physics: the activity is just starting and, at least in the take-off stage, will take advantage of and be synergic with the researches needed to develop the above mentioned GaAs detectors. Theoretical activity is also starting in this field: main interest is concentrated in non-linear phenomena and transition from order to chaos;
  4. physics education: a group is very much actively working in the field of physics teaching, also with teachers of the secondary schools. Much emphasis is again put on the importance of laboratory activity, which we really believe to be the true backbone (in research and in education) not only of physics, but of every natural science as well. A specific lab (CLDF) is devoted to didactical innovation, experimentation and test. Great work is carried out in the field of new technology and of teacher training. Undergraduate physics teaching is studied also.

In the University of Udine we have not as of yet a Physics Degree ("Laurea" in Physics) and this is the obvious next objective of our Department strategy: in any case, once a full course for a physics degree is activated, maximum attention will be given to teaching quality and to the training of the students in experimental and even technological disciplines. In fact we are deeply convinced that there can never be enough laboratories or "how to do it" philosophy.

Centre Laboratory for Physics Education (CLDF) del CIRD

Scientific Responsible: prof. Marisa Michelini

The CLDF is a new body of the Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca Didattica(CIRD).

It was created by the Research Unit in Physics Education working in the Physics Department of the University of Udine thanks to a special contribution of the Consorzio per la Costituzione e lo Sviluppo degli Insegnamenti Universitari, that has financed the acquisition of equipment for experimental demonstration, for the carrying out of educational experiments of physics using traditional methods and new technologies: for example by means of acquisition of on-line data.

Its most notable characteristic is the fact that it features both state of the art and elementary educational equipment.

Its aim is to give life to a scientific educational collaboration between the researchers of the University of Udine and teachers of secondary schools through experimental activity and to promote high level training of teachers of physics.

It is a thriving centre of research , experimentation and discussion of innovative methods for the teachers of physics supervised by the teachers and the researchers.

Born on 18.4.1994, in the current academic year it has accomplished the following

  1. Exhibition of educational experiments. During the week dedicated to scientific culture, in parallel with an exhibition of 80 experiments which took place at the seat of the University in piazzale Kolbe, 30 experiments mostly performed with new technologies in the field of mechanics, thermology, electromagnetism and optics.
  2. Laboratory for the improvement of the teaching of physics. A 30 hour module (from 11.5.94 to 3.6.94) in the teaching laboratory of physics in the ambit of the Training Course for secondary school teachers took place with the equipment of and in the seat of the CLDF. Experiments were carried out and discussed, teaching suggestions based on experimental activities and many technological aidswere evaluated and examined. Expeeriments were carried out in the following areas: cinematic study of motion, dynamic analysis of systems, mechanical oscillation, thermic interaction of systems, operative introduction to the concepts of temperature, heat and specific heat, fundamental law of calorimetry, conduction of heat, energy exchange in thermic machines, calorimetric evaluation of energy transformations, study of environmental parameters, electrical transports conduction in solids (metals and semiconductors), absorption and and emission of radiation. Teaching suggestions bvased on dinamical modelling software were examined. Many experiments even original ones, were carried out for research connected with the teacher training thesis. As gymnasium for experiments it has given special contribution to the Teacher Training Course.
  3. Additional Lab for Didactical undergraduate laboratories. In the CLDF experiental activities were carried out with the students of the Diploma Course in Electronics and with students of the Agraria Faculty on mechanical oscillators and on eviromental parameters with computer on-line acquisition of data respectively.
  4. Presentation and discussion of researches in physics education. Groups of teachers and researchers meet almost weekly to examine try out and discuss support materials for the teaching of science. In this way achieving integration of the University with the regional activity.
  5. Inservice teacher training. In collaboration with the local AIF Section, the CLDF offers refresher couses for secondary school teachers.

International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) - Trieste, Italy

The ICTP is an Institute of research and high-level training in pure and applied physics and mathematics which belongs to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It is therefore rests under the aegis of the United Nations Organization. The ICTP is located in the city of Trieste, selected from among applicant host cities for historical, geographical and political reasons.

The Rules and Regulations of the ICTP clearly set out its aims: to help in fostering the growth of advanced studies and research in physical and mathematical sciences; to provide an international forum for scientific contacts between scientists from all countries; to provide facilities to conduct original research to its visitors, associates and fellows, principally from developing countries.

The ICTP implements its aims through various schemes of its Scientific Programme in this the following fields of interest

Fundamental Physics, Physics of Condensed Matter, Mathematic, Physics and Energy, Physics and Environment, Physics of the Living State, Applied Physics, Physics and Mathematics Teaching

Scientific Programme.

Research. Research is carried out by the resident research groups in theoretical physics and mathematics, and at four laboratories on the applications of physics. There are three main research groups - High Energy Physics, Condensed Matter Physics and Mathematics -, and three smaller research groups - Plasma Physics and Fusion, Atmospheric Physics, Radio propagation, Structure of the Solid Earth and Earthquake Prediction -, each consisting of long-term resident and postdoctoral scientists, and long- and short-term visitors.

Laboratories: Atmospheric Physics and Radio propagation Laboratory; High-Temperature Superconductivity Laboratory; Laboratory for Lasers and Optical Fibres; Microprocessor Laboratory. All ICTP laboratories carry out research projects and, at the same time, are used as supporting units for the training courses.

Training Courses and Scientific Meetings.

Diploma Course. It is designed to give young scientists from those developing countries where no Ph.D. programme is available an intensive one-year training programme at pre-Ph.D. level.

Training and Research in Italian Laboratories. The Programme gives scientists from developing countries (including Eastern Europe) who participate in ICTP activities, the opportunity to spend periods up to one year, at Italian research laboratories of universities, governmental and industrial institutions, which operate in different branches of Physics. The fields covered, which reflect the current activities held at the ICTP, are presently: Physics of Condensed Matter, Physics and Energy, Physics and Technology, Earth and Environmental Science.

External Activities. The purpose of the ICTP Office of External Activities (OEA) is to assist scientists in the Third World in developing their research and education activities. Support and advice is provided for activities organized by scientists in Third World countries and carried out within their regions, through the following programmes:

Scientific Meetings: short-term activities of regional character.

ICTP Affiliated Centres (ICAC): Institutes or University Departments engaged in long-term projects carried out in co-operation with the OEA. The purpose is to upgrade an Institute, to support well-defined projects there, and to promote it as a regional centre.

Networks: agreements between research groups or individuals in a region who carry out a common research activity. Support is provided for exchange programmes for scientists within the Network.

Visiting Scholars/Consultants: support to an expert in a specific field from many country. The aim is to stimulate new links between high level scientists and research groups in Third World countries.

Associate Members. This Scheme allows scientists of a good research level, living and working in developing countries, to remain regularly in contact with the most modern aspects of their scientific fields. This, to a large extent, helps to eliminate the "brain-drain" in the Third World. Secondly, since Associate Members are senior scientists in their countries, they are expected to play a major role in the process of building up their scientific communities, enhancing physics and mathematics education at all levels and pursuing research problems related to the specific needs of their countries.

Federated Institutes. Federations Agreements are signed by the ICTP and a scientific institution in a developing country, enabling the Institute to send scientists to the ICTP on a cost-sharing basis.

Donation Programme. Through this Scheme, the ICTP, in collaboration with the Third World Academy of Sciences, provides libraries and institutions with books, proceedings and journals, and laboratories in developing countries with equipment donated by CERN and other laboratories.

Awards. Dirac Medals of ICTP. ICTP Prize. Sawar Razmi Prize.


Diploma Course for Translators and Interpreters.

Head: prof. Marisa Sestito

The Diploma in Translation and Interpretation has the aim of providing the students with a comprehensive knowledge of both cultural and scientific techniques. The primary purpose of the course is to enable the participants to reach the standard required of professional interpreters and translators. In particular, by offering appropriate training, it prepares translators and interpreters for areas such as publishing , industry, foreign trading, science, media and communication. The students will spend a whole term abroad. The period will be equally divided between countries in which the respective languages are spoken.

It is a three-year course offered by the Faculty of Foreign Languages of the University of Udine which consists in the study of two foreign languages, candidates are expected to sit an entrance exam since there is a limited number of places. The seat of the course is Gorizia.

Department of Biology Applied to Plant Defense

The Department of Biologia Applicata alla Difesa delle Piante carries out research on insects and pathogens harmful to crops. In particular, the Section of Apiculture works on crop pollination and is involved in international projects on the varroa mite, a dangerous parasite of the honeybee.

Office for International Relations of the University of Udine

Head: Dr. Elisabetta Vecchio

Udine is situated at the north-eastern border of the Italian peninsula and this gives it the privilege of being in the so called Mittleurope, approximately 90 km. from the Austrian boarder, and 30 km. from the Slovenian boarder as well as near East European countries like Hungary, Poland, and Russia.This unique geographical position has made it easy for us to develop and exchanges ties with foreign University that have been very productive in many ways.

The Office for International Relations of the University of Udine has been active during these past years with Erasmus, Tempus, Lingua, Comett and other European projects.

At the moment we have 11 old ICP Erasmus programs, funded by the UE, and 4 JEP Tempus programs.

The Ministery of Public Education gives the Universities the possibility of developing exchange of research programs with other countries these forms of agreements are the so called Convenzioni.

At the present we have activated 19 of such Collaboration Agreements they are with: Beer-Sheva (Israel), Institute of Control Science (Moscow), Bar Ilan (Israel), Paisley College (Scotland), Bratislava (Slovacchia), Cracovia (Poland), Klagenfurt (Austria), Szeged (Hungary), Fiume (Croazia), Spalato (Croazia), Zagabria (Croazia), Lubjana (Slovenia), Guelph (Canada), Novi Sud (Serbia), Poznan (Poland), Olomouc (Rep. Ceca), Szombathely (Hungary), Bucarest (Romania), Iasi (ROMANIA).

Three more agreement are in the process of being activated as well as proposal of agreement with the University of Houston (Texas).

The Agreements are decided by the Board of Administration and the Academic Senate of the University of Udine. They are sent then to the Ministery of Public Education in Rome for the authorization. At this point the Rector (Chancellor) of the University definies the new Agreement. Parts of the Agreement include: the teaching and research projects of the two Universities, the development of study programs for students, and experiences with technical machinery of complex nature. It is therefore possible to have exchange of teaching faculty, administrative staff and students ; the trip is payed by the sending University while the accomodations are paid by the host University.

In the past year we hosted 47 foreign university faculty members whereas 22 of our faculty went to the agreed universities.

A different kind of agreement is the work Community Alps-Adria . The working community has been foundedpolitically in Venice in 1978 and represented the following Regions: Styria, Carinthia, Upper Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Lombardy, Trentino Alto-Adige (Southern Tyrol) and the Hungarian Regions of Sopron and Vas. It was based on regional and international cooperation which covers various aspects of living (enviromental planning, commerce, forestry ecc.).

In 1979 a Conference of all the Chancellors of the Universities within the working community has been founded. It is part of the work community but it works autonomously. Principal aim is to promote cooperation in all field of Science and Art represented by the universities. At the moment 40 Universities are represented by their Rectors. It functions with the support of a scientific board which consists of one representative of each University within the Alps-Adria workin community. Scientific cooperation is achieved by organizing symposia and conferences, granting scholarships to postgraduate students.

International Centre for Mechanical Science (CISM)

The International Centre for Mechanical Sciences (CISM) began its activities twenty years ago thanks to the efforts of Luigi Sobrero. He gathered an international group of scientists and was able to obtain the support of local institutions of the North-East Italian Region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia to the idea of founding a permanent, internationa centre of advanced studies in mechanical sciences and related fields, computer science and information theory.

The purpose of the centre was to favour the exchange of ideas and experiences among scientists and young workers fron all over the world. It was a historic occasion which gave the Friuli Region, and Udine in particular, an opportunity of playing their natural role as a bridge berween different peoples, cultures and civilizations.

The foresight shown by the thre founding bodies (The Municipal Council of Udine, which immediately made available the prestigious and well-suited Palazzo del Torso, the Provincial Council, and the Cassa di Risparmio Bank) and by the Regional Goverment, has borne fruit. Much has been accomplished since the first painstaking steps were taken to organize the Centre and launch its scientific activities.

The Centre is a highly reputed international organization: this is true not only because teachers and participants in its training courses, research activities, advanced symposia and conferences come from all over the world, but is clearly demonstrated by the number of scientific institutions and international organization which financially support the Centre and are represented in its councils. Friuli and Udine are by now internationally familiar names and reference points among scientists and researchers in many fields of mechanics such as solid and fluid mechanics, material science, static and dynamic analysis and stability of structures, mechanics of machines, biomechanics, hydro- and aerodynamics; acoustics, fracture mechanics and robotics and also in related disciplines, ad thermodynamics, information theory, control theory, system theory, and computer science.

The foundation of the University of Friuli in Udine in 1978, was immediately followed by a strict cooperation between CISM and the University, which was beneficial to both institutions and to the cultural and scientific development of the Region, within an international framework and in agreement with the development plans of the Regional Government.

After twenty years, it is fair to say that CISM has contributed to developing friendly links between countriesbelonging to different areas of the world and to different political and economic traditions. It is the intention of the Centre to continue along this path, the more so that the recent events in Europe seem to indicate that Friuli-Venezia Giulia will become an increasingly important crossroads between East and West, South and North and a meeting place for diverse races, cultures and civilisations in the interest of science and all mankind.

GIREP95 Physics Dept. Udine University GIREP