Schedule -- Dreyfus


  • This schedule is tentative and subject to change.
  • For the Reading Assignments, you need to ask a question online in Webassign on (usually) two of the assigned readings. These are generally due at NOON the previous day and worth about 2 participation points each. Yes, they add up.
  • Some slides will be posted in Adobe pdf format on Canvas after the class (never before!) takes place. Note that these slides only represent a skeleton of the presentation and will rarely include solutions to problems and questions posed, derivations, or representations of class discussions. 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!


Date Class Reading Content Quiz

Week 1

No Recitation No Lab
W 9/3 1

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

Why are you here?  
F 9/5 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

Modeling, dimensions  

Week 2

Recitation: How big is a worm Lab 0: Survey and Intro
M 9/8 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 and vectors Quiz 1
W 9/10 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

 Rates of change & velocity  
F 9/12 5    Velocity, continued  

Week 3

Recitation: Cat and Antelope Lab 1: Quantifying motion from Images and Videos
M 9/15 6 3.2.2 Acceleration Average acceleration Instantaneous acceleration Calculating with constant acceleration
 Acceleration Quiz 2
W 9/17 7 4.1.1 Physical content of Newton's Laws Object egotism Inertia Interactions Superposition Mass Reciprocity System Schema Introduction
Newton's laws and system schema intro  
F 9/19 8 Newton 0 Free-body diagrams

Newton 0 and FBD  

Week 4

Recitation:Thinking about forces for objects and systems Lab 1: Quantifying motion from Images and Videos
M 9/22 9

4.1.2 Formulation of Newton's Laws as foothold principles Quantifying impulse and force Newton's 2nd law Reading the content in Newton's 2nd law Newton 2 as a stepping rule Newton 2 on a spreadsheet

Newton 2  Quiz 3
W 9/24 10 Newton's 3rd law Using system schemas for Newton's 3rd law
 Newton 3  
F 9/26 11 4.2 Kinds of Forces
4.2.1 Springs Realistic springs Normal forces A simple model of solid matter
 Springs and normal forces

Week 5

Recitation: The spring constant of DNA Lab 2: Inferring force characteristics from motion analysis
M 9/29 12 Tension forces 
4.2.2 Resistive forces Friction

Tension and friction Quiz 4
W 10/1 13 Viscosity Drag

Viscosity and drag

F 10/3 14 4.2.3 Gravitational forces Flat-earth gravity Free-fall in flat-earth gravity The gravitational field

Week 6

Recitation: Motion of a paramecium Lab 2: Inferring force characteristics from motion analysis
M 10/6 15

No reading assignment

W 10/8 16 MIDTERM 1 (on lectures 1-15)
F 10/10 17

4.2.4 Electric forces Charge and the structure of matter Polarization

Electric forces  

Week 7

Recitation: Electrostatic force and Hydrogen bonds Lab 3: Observing Brownian motion
M 10/13 18 Coulomb's law Coulomb's law -- vector character Reading the content in Coulomb's law

Go over midterm / Coulomb's law  Quiz 5
W 10/15 19 The Electric field  Electric field  
F 10/17 20

4.3 Coherent vs. random motion
4.3.1 Linear momentum Restating Newton's 2nd law: momentum Momentum conservation


Week 8

Recitation: Electrophoresis Lab 3: Observing Brownian motion
M 10/20 21 4.3.2 The role of randomness: Biological implications
4.3.3 Diffusion and random walks
Random motion Quiz 6
W 10/22 22 Fick's law The gradient: a vector derivative

F 10/24 23

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

Bulk properties of matter  

Week 9

Recitation: Diffusion in cells Lab 3: Observing Brownian motion
M 10/27 24 5.2 Fluids
5.2.1 Pressure
Pressure Quiz 7
W 10/29 25

5.2.2 Archimedes' Principle
5.2.3 Buoyancy

F 10/31 26

I-2: Interlude 2: The Micro to Macro Connection

7.1 Kinetic theory: the ideal gas law


Week 10

Recitation: Gas properties and pressure Lab 4: The competition between Brownian motion and directed forces
M 11/3 27 Surface tension
5.2.6 Fluid flow Quantifying fluid flow
Fluid flow Quiz 8
W 11/5 28 The continuity equation Internal flow -- the HP equation
Fluid flow
F 11/7 29 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
Work and kinetic energy  

Week 11

Recitation: Fluid flow Lab 4: The competition between Brownian motion and directed forces
M 11/10 30 6.2 Energy of place -- potential energy
6.2.1 Gravitational potential energy
 Potential energy Quiz 9
W 11/12 31 No reading Review  
F 11/14 32 MIDTERM 2

Week 12

Recitation: Energy skate park Lab 5: Motion and Work in living systems
M 11/17 33 6.2.2 Spring potential energy
6.2.3 Electric potential energy
Potential energy  
W 11/19 34 6.3 The conservation of mechanical energy
6.3.1 Interpreting mechanical energy graphs
6.3.2 Mechanical energy loss -- thermal energy
Go over midterm / Conservation of energy  
F 11/21 35 6.3.3 Forces from potential energy
6.4.1 Energy at the sub-molecular level
6.4.2 Atomic and Molecular forces
Energy at the submolecular level  

Week 13

Recitation: No Recitation Lab: No Lab
M 11/24 36 Interatomic forces The Lennard-Jones Potential Chemical bonding
Chemical energy Quiz 10
W 11/26 37

No reading


Energy, continued


Week 14

Recitation: Protein stability Lab 5: Motion and Work in living systems
M 12/1 38 5.3 Heat and temperature
5.3.2 Thermal properties of matter Thermal energy and specific heat
Heat and temperature  
W 12/3 39 Heat capacity Heat transfer
Heat transfer  
F 12/5 40 7. Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
7.2 The 1st law of thermodynamics
The first law of thermodynamics  

Week 15

 Recitation: Temperature regulation  Lab: Makeup Lab and survey
M 12/8 41 No reading The first law of thermodynamics, continued Quiz 11
W 12/10 42 7.3 Why we need a 2nd Law of Thermodynamics
7.3.1 The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics: A Probabilistic Law
7.3.2 Implications of the Second Law of Thermodynamics
The second law of thermodynamics  
F 12/12 43  No reading Review  

Final Exam