Schedule for Readings, Lectures

Notes: All of the reading assignments appear as WebAssign assignments; they are also listed here for convenience. Some WebAssign problems simply take you to the page you need to read and involve no credit; others have follow-up questions you must answer to get the points. Reading assignments are due at 11:59 pm the night before each lecture.

The "Content" column gives the general topic of each lecture. A condensed version of the PowerPoint file will be posted before each lecture on the course Blackboard site. This file will contain a few "Foothold" principles, plus a set of whiteboard exercises and clicker questions on that day's material. You may wish to bring a printout to class with you. If you miss a class, these notes do not suffice to fill you in on what happened! Be sure to check with someone who actually attended.


Class Reading   Content Lab

Week 1

Recitation: Modelling capillaries Lab: Intro to Excel, mechanics pre-test
Jan 8 Lect 1
Physics AND Biology

1 Introduction to the class
1.1 The disciplines: Physics, Biology, Chemistry, and Math
1.1.1 Science as making models
1.1.4 What Physics can do for Biologists
1.2 Thinking about Thinking and Knowing
1.2.1 The nature of scientific knowledge

Why is this class different?
Jan 10 Lect 2
Measured Quantities

2. Modeling with mathematics
2.1 Using math in science
2.1.1 How math in science is different from math in math
2.1.2 Measurement
2.1.3 Dimensions and units Complex dimensions and dimensional analysis Changing units
2.1.4 Estimation Useful numbers

Measurement and Math: Dimensions and Units

Week 2 --- Martin Luther King Jr Holiday ---

How big is a worm?
Lab 1a:
Quantifying motion from Images and Videos
Jan 17 Lect 3
Describing Motion
I-1 Interlude 1: The Main Question: How do things move?
3 Kinematics: Where and When?
3.1.1 Coordinates
3.1.2 Vectors
3.1.3 Time 
3.1.4 Kinematics Graphs

Coordinates, graphs, and vectors

Quiz 1

Week 3

The cat and the antelope
Lab 1b:
Quantifying motion from Images and Videos
Jan 22 Lect 4
Changing Motion
2.2.5 Values, change, and rates of change Derivatives What is a derivative, anyway?
3.2 Kinematic Variables
3.2.1 Velocity Average velocity Instantaneous velocity Calculating with average velocity

Rate of change and velocity -- instantaneous and average

Quiz 2
Jan 24 Lect 5
Acceleration & Newton
3.2.2 Acceleration Average acceleration Instantaneous acceleration Calculating with constant acceleration
4.1 Newton's Laws
4.1.1 Physical content of Newton's Laws

Graphs & consistency; acceleration

Week 4

Forces for objects & systems
Lab 2a:
Inferring force characteristics from motion analysis
Jan 29 Lect 6
Newton's Laws Object egotism: Inertia Interactions Superposition: Mass Reciprocity

Physical content of Newton's laws

Quiz 3
Jan 31 Lect 7
FREE BODY DIAGRAMS! Newton 0 Free-body diagrams System Schema Introduction Newton's 2nd law Reading the content in Newton's 2nd law Newton 2 as a stepping rule Newton 2 on a spreadsheet

What's a force? Newton 0 & 1

Week 5

The spring constant of DNA
Lab 2b:
Inferring force characteristics from motion analysis
Feb 5 Lect 8
The Third Law Newton's 3rd law Using system schemas for Newton's 3rd law
4.1.2 Formulation of Newton's Laws as foothold principles Quantifying impulse and force

Newton 2 and 3

Quiz 4
Feb 7 Lect 9
Different Forces
4.2 Kinds of Forces
4.2.1 Springs Realistic springs Normal forces A simple model of solid matter Tension forces 
4.2.2 Resistive forces Friction

Forces: Springs, tension, normal, and friction forces

Week 6

Motion of a paramecium
Lab 3a:
Observing Brownian motion
Feb 12 Midterm exam  


Feb 14 Lect 10
Fluid Forces Viscosity Drag

Go over midterm,

Week 7

Electrostatic force and Hydrogen bonds
Lab 3b:
Observing Brownian motion
Feb 19 Lect 11

4.2.3 Gravitational forces Flat-earth gravity Free-fall in flat-earth gravity The gravitational field

Viscosity and drag,

Quiz 5
Feb 21 Lect 12
Electric Forces
4.2.4 Electric forces Charge and the structure of matter Polarization Coulomb's law 

Electric force and polarization

Week 8

Lab 3c:
Observing Brownian motion
Feb 26 Lect 13
Electric Field Coulomb's law -- vector character Reading the content in Coulomb's law The Electric field 

Coulomb's law


Quiz 6
Feb 28 Lect 14
4.3 Coherent vs. random motion
4.3.1 Linear momentum Restating Newton's 2nd law: momentum Momentum conservation

Coherent motion: Momentum and Momentum conservation

Week 9

Gas properties and pressure
Lab 4a:
The competition between Brownian motion and directed forces
Mar 5 Lect 15
Random Motion
4.3.2 The role of randomness: Biological implications Diffusion and random walks Fick's law

Random motion and emergence

Quiz 7
Mar 7 Lect 16
Models of Matter

5. Macro models of matter
5.1.1 Density-solids
5.1.2 Young's modulus
5.1.6 Soft matter Mechanical properties of cells

Diffusion -- Fick's law

Week 11

Diffusion in cells
Lab 4b:
The competition between Brownian motion and directed forces
Mar 19 Lect 17
5.2 Fluids
5.2.1 Pressure
7.1 Kinetic theory: the ideal gas law

Basics of fluids:
kinetic theory

Quiz 8
Mar 21 Lect 18
Buoyancy The gradient: a vector derivative
5.2.2 Archimedes' Principle
5.2.3 Buoyancy Surface tension


Week 12

Fluid Flow
Lab 4c:
The competition between Brownian motion and directed forces
Mar 26 Midterm Exam  


Mar 28 Lect 19
More Fluids...
Go over midterm
Intro to fluids, Buoyancy

Week 13

Energy skate park and collisions
Lab 5a:
Motion and Work in living systems
Apr 2 Lect 20
Flowing Fluids

5.2.6 Fluid flow Quantifying fluid flow The continuity equation Internal flow -- the HP equation

Fluid flow -- the HP equation Quiz 9
Apr 4 Lect 21
Work & Kinetic Energy
6. Energy: The Quantity of Motion
6.1 Kinetic energy and the work-energy theorem
6.1.1 Reading the content in the Work-Energy theorem
6.2 Energy of place -- potential energy
Work and kinetic energy

Week 14

Protein Stability
Lab 5b:
Motion and Work in living systems
Apr 9 Lect 22
Potential Energy

6.2.1 Gravitational potential energy
6.2.2 Spring potential energy
6.2.3 Electric potential energy
Potential energy Quiz 10
Apr 11 Lect 23
Energy Conservation
6.3 The conservation of mechanical energy
6.3.1 Interpreting mechanical energy graphs
6.3.2 Mechanical energy loss -- thermal energy
6.3.3 Forces from potential energy
  Energy conservation

Week 15

Temperature Regulation
Lab 5c:
Motion and Work in living systems
Apr 16 Lect 24
Atoms & Bound States
6.4.1 Energy at the sub-molecular level
6.4.2 Atomic and Molecular forces Interatomic forces The Lennard-Jones Potential Chemical bonding
Energy and molecular forces;
Kinetic theory and the ideal gas law
Quiz 11
Apr 18 Lect 25
5.3 Heat and temperature
5.3.2 Thermal properties of matter Thermal energy and specific heat Heat capacity Heat transfer
Heat, temperature, and the 1st law

Week 16

Recitation - Survey: Makeup labs
Apr 23 Lect 26
The First Law
I-2: Interlude 2: The Micro to Macro Connection
7. Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
7.3 The 1st law of thermodynamics
7.4.1 Why we need a 2nd Law of Thermodynamics
Apr 25 Lect 27
Entropy & the 2nd Law
7.4.2 The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics: A Probabilistic Law
7.4.3 Implications of the Second Law of Thermodynamics
The Second law

Edited by S. M. Durbin January 2018