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
8/21 Lect 1

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?
8/23 Lect 2

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

How big is a worm?
Lab 1a:
Quantifying motion from Images and Videos
8/28 Lect 3 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
8/30 Lect 4 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

Week 3 (Labor Day Holiday)

The cat and the antelope
Lab 1b:
Quantifying motion from Images and Videos, cont.
9/6 Lect 5 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

Quiz 2

Week 4

Forces for objects & systems
Lab 2a:
Inferring force characteristics from motion analysis
9/11 Lect 6 Object egotism: Inertia Interactions Superposition: Mass Reciprocity

Physical content of Newton's laws

Quiz 3
9/13 Lect 7 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, cont.
9/18 Lect 8 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
9/20 Lect 9 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
9/25 Lect 10 Viscosity Drag

6:30 pm:

Viscosity & Drag

9/27 Lect 11

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


Week 7

Electrostatic force and Hydrogen bonds
Lab 3b:
Observing Brownian motion, cont.
10/2 Lect 12 4.2.4 Electric forces Charge and the structure of matter Polarization Coulomb's law 

Electric force and polarization

Quiz 5
10/4 Lect 13 Coulomb's law -- vector character Reading the content in Coulomb's law The Electric field 

Coulomb's law

Week 8 --- October Break ---

Lab 3c:
Observing Brownian motion, cont.
10/11 Lect 14

Lecture cancelled;

Week 9

Lab 4a:
The competition between Brownian motion and directed forces
10/16 Lect 15 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

Quiz 6
10/18 Lect 16 4.3.2 The role of randomness: Biological implications Diffusion and random walks Fick's law

Random motion and emergence

Week 10

Diffusion and cells
Lab 4b:
The competition between Brownian motion and directed forces, cont.
10/23 Lect 17

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

Quiz 7
10/25 Lect 18 5.2 Fluids
5.2.1 Pressure
7.1 Kinetic theory: the ideal gas law

Basics of fluids:
kinetic theory

Week 11

Gas Properties and Pressure
Lab 4:
Group Presentations
10/30 Lect 19 The gradient: a vector derivative
5.2.2 Archimedes' Principle
5.2.3 Buoyancy Surface tension


Quiz 8
11/1 Lect 20

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

Fluids, buoyancy
11/2 Evening Exam

Thursday 6:30pm:

Week 12

Fluid Flow
Lab 5a:
Motion and Work in living systems
11/6 Lect 21 Go over midterm
Quiz 9
11/8 Lect 22 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 & Kinetic Energy

Week 13

Energy skate park and collisions
Lab 5b:
Motion and Work in living systems, cont.
11/13 Lect 23
6.2.1 Gravitational potential energy
6.2.2 Spring potential energy
6.2.3 Electric potential energy
Potential energy Quiz 10
11/15 Lect 24

Lecture cancelled;

Week 14 --- Thanksgiving Week---

Protein Stability
No Labs
11/20 Lect 25 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 5: Group Presentations
11/27 Lect 26 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
11/29 Lect 27 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: Mechanics post-test Makeup labs
12/4 Lect 28 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
12/6 Lect_29 7.4.2 The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics: A Probabilistic Law
7.4.3 Implications of the Second Law of Thermodynamics
The second law

Final Exam - TBA


Edited by S. M. Durbin August 2017