Schedule -- Peel


  • 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 3 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
T 9/2 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? Bring your clickers!
Th 9/4 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
Thinking vs. intution

Week 2

Recitation: How big is a worm Lab 0: Survey and Intro
T 9/9 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
Measurement: Dimensions and Units II
Beginning kinematics
Quiz 1
Th 9/11 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
Coordinates and graphs
Making sense of x, v, a vs. t

Week 3

Recitation: The cat and the antelope Lab 1a: Quantifying motion from Images and Videos
T 9/16 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 Object egotism
Rate of change and velocity: instantaneous and average
Derivatives; antiderivatives
Quiz 2
Th 9/18 6 Inertia Interactions Superposition: Mass Reciprocity Newton 0
Wrapping up kinematics
Developing intution for x, v, a

Week 4

Recitation: Forces for objects & systems Lab 1b: Quantifying motion from Images and Videos
T 9/23 7 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
Hints of Newton's laws (What's a force?)
Quiz 3
Th 9/25 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
System Schema
Free Body Diagrams
The dreaded inclined plane (Newton in 3D)
What's a force? (continued)
Th 9/25 8.5! Newton's 1st law (sorry it was out of order!)

Week 5

Recitation: The spring constant of DNA Lab 2a: Inferring force characteristics from motion analysis
T 9/30 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
Newton 2 and 3 (how NOT to look at N3)
Forces: Springs, tension, normal, and friction forces
Quiz 4
Th 10/2 10 Viscosity Drag
4.2.3 Gravitational forces Flat-earth gravity Free-fall in flat-earth gravity The gravitational field
Viscosity and drag,

Week 6

Recitation: Motion of a paramecium Lab 2b: Inferring force characteristics from motion analysis
T 10/7 11 MIDTERM 1 (on lectures 1-10)
Th 10/9 12 4.2.4 Electric forces Charge and the structure of matter Polarization Coulomb's law 
Kinds of forces, charges


Week 7

Recitation: Electrostatic force and Hydrogen bonds
Lab 3a: Observing Brownian motion
T 10/14 13 Coulomb's law -- vector character Reading the content in Coulomb's law

Charges, induction,
Coulomb's law

 Quiz 5
Th 10/16 14 The Electric field
4.3 Coherent vs. random motion

Go over exam

Week 8

Recitation: Electrophoresis Lab 3b: Observing Brownian motion
T 10/21 15 4.3.1 Linear momentum Restating Newton's 2nd law: momentum Momentum conservation


Quiz 6
Th 10/23 16 4.3.2 The role of randomness: Biological implications Diffusion and random walks Fick's law
Emergence, random motion

Week 9

Recitation: Gas properties and pressure Lab 3c: Observing Brownian motion
T 10/28 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

Random motion, diffusion

Quiz 7
Th 10/30 18 5.2 Fluids
5.2.1 Pressure
7.1 Kinetic theory: the ideal gas law

Kinetic theory of gases


Week 10

Recitation: Diffusion in cells Lab 4a: Brownian motion vs. directed forces
T 11/4 19 I-2: Interlude 2: The Micro to Macro Connection The gradient: a vector derivative
5.2.2 Archimedes' Principle
5.2.3 Buoyancy Surface tension
Fluids: Buoyancy, surface tension Quiz 8
Th 11/6 20 5.2.6 Fluid flow Quantifying fluid flow The continuity equation Internal flow -- the HP equation
Continuity (A1v1 = A2v2)

Fluid flow (or why arteriosclerosis is worse than you think)

Week 11

Recitation: Fluid flow
  • Estimating capillaries
  • Hold the mayo
Lab 4b: Brownian motion vs. directed forces
T 11/11 21 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
Quiz 9
Th 11/13 22 MIDTERM 2

Week 12

Recitation: Energy skate park and collisions Lab 5a: Motion and Work in living systems
T 11/18 23 6.2 Energy of place -- potential energy
6.2.1 Gravitational potential energy
6.2.2 Spring potential energy
6.2.3 Electric potential energy

Go over exam

Th 11/20 24

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

Week 13

No Recitation No Lab
T 11/25 25

6.4.1 Energy at the sub-molecular level
6.4.2 Atomic and Molecular forces Interatomic forces Chemical bonding

Potential energy

Energy conservation

Quiz 10

Week 14

Recitation: Protein stability Lab 5b: Motion and Work in living systems
T 12/2 26 5.3 Heat and temperature
5.3.2 Thermal properties of matter Thermal energy and specific heat Heat capacity Heat transfer

Energy and heat

(No quiz)
Th 12/4 27 7. Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
7.2 The 1st law of thermodynamics
7.3 The 2nd law of thermodynamics
7.4.1 Why we need a 2nd Law of Thermodynamics
Electric PE and molecular forces  

Week 15

Recitation: Temperature regulation Lab: Makeup lab and survey
T 12/9 28     Quiz 11
Th 12/11 29 No reading for the last day

Heat and temperature

Exam Week