Schedule -- Redish

You can find an overview of the text readings for this class (plus readings I am not assigning) at: Working Content II


  • This schedule is tentative and subject to change. Reading Assignments are online; commentary in WebAssign is due 9 PM the evening before the lecture. Assignments are due Friday at 5PM.
  • Attend recitation during the first week of class to do our survey and meet the prof.
  • Recitations and labs begin on January 30th.
  • The content column links to slides from the PowerPoint presentation used in class. They will be posted after the class takes place. Note that these slides only represent a skeleton of the presentation and do not 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. The files are Adobe PDF files.
Date Class Reading   Content Lab

Week 1

Recitation: Surveys Intro to labs and peer grading
1/25 1


1/27 2

Introduction to the class
and review of 131

1/29 3 Interatomic forces Chemical bonding

Energy and chemical bonds:


Week 2

How a kinesin walks

Lab 1:
Modeling fluid flow I
2/1 4

7.2.1 Organizing the idea of energy
7.2.2 Enthalpy

Energy and enthalpy

Quiz 1
2/3 5

7.3.1 The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics: A Probabilistic Law
7.3.2 Implications of the Second Law of Thermodynamics: Entropy


2/5 6 Why entropy is logarithmic A way to think about entropy -- sharing

Entropy: Examples

HW 1

Week 3

Entropy and diffusion

Lab 2:
Modeling fluid flow II
2/8 7 Biological consequences of the 2nd Law Example: Entropy and heat flow

The 2nd law of thermodynamics

Quiz 2
2/10 8 7.3.3 Motivating free energy Gibbs free energy

Free energy

2/12 9 Example: Free energy of an expanding gas
7.3.4 How energy is distributed: Fluctuations

Energy, enthalpy, and free energy

HW 2

Week 4

Recitation: Insane in the membrane, 1: Oil & water
Lab 3:
Electric forces in a fluid I
2/15 10



2/17 11 Boltzmann distribution Boltzmann distribution and Gibbs free energy

The Boltzmann distribution, fluctuations, and entropy

Quiz 3
2/19 12

8.1 The Electric field
8.1.2 Making sense of the idea of field

Recap: Electric charge, force, and energy: Electric fields

HW 3

Week 5

Recitation: Recitation: Insane in the membrane, 2: Lipid bilayers
Lab 4:
Electric forces in a fluid II
2/22 13 8.2 The electric potential

Electrostatic potential

Quiz 4
2/24 14 8.2.1 Motivating simple electric models A simple electric model: a line charge A simple electric model: a sheet of charge

Electrostatic potential: examples

2/26 15

8.4.1 Two parallel sheets of charge
8.4.2 The capacitor


Charged lines and sheets

HW 4

Week 6

Introduction to circuits
Lab 5: Signal transmission along nerve axons I
2/29 16

8.3.3 Dielectric constant
8.5.5 Electrical energy and power


Quiz 5
3/2 17

8.3.1 Screening of electrical interactions in salt solution Debye length
8.3.2 Nernst potential


3/4 18



Week 7

What's "free" about free energy?
Lab 6: Signal transmission along nerve axons II
3/7 19

8.5.1 Quantifying electric current
8.5.2 Resistive electric flow: Ohm's law

Capacitance: Examples

3/9 20  

Dielectric constrant, Debye length

3/11 21 8.5.3 Ways to think about current: A toolbox of models 8.5.4 Kirchhoff's principles

Go over midterm, Nernst potential

HW 5

Week 8

Introduction to light

Lab 7:
Geometric optics I
3/21 22  

Moving charge, electric current

Quiz 6
3/23 23

Kirchhoff's principles

3/25 24

Complex electric circuit examples

HW 6

Week 9

Salting out and denaturing DNA
Lab 8:
Geometric optics II
3/28 25

9. Oscillations and waves
9.1 Harmonic oscillation
9.1.1 Mass on a spring

Harmonic oscillation: Force, kinematics, and energy

Quiz 7
3/30 26 Hanging mass on a spring The pendulum

Harmonic oscillator: Examples

4/1 27 9.1.2 Damped oscillators
9.1.3 Driven oscillators: resonance

Damped and driven oscillator, resonance

HW 7

Week 10

Diatomic vibrations
Lab 9: Analyzing light spectra:
Implications for living systems I
4/4 28 9.1.5 Quantum oscillators -- discrete states

Waves in 1D: pulse

Quiz 8
4/6 29

9.2 Waves in 1D
9.2.1 Waves on an elastic string
9.2.2 Wave pulses

Wave speed

4/8 30 Propagating a wave pulse - the math
9.2.3 Wave speed


HW 8

Week 11

Recitation: Spectroscopy - How does light interact with matter?
Lab 10: Analyzing light spectra:
Implications for living systems I
4/11 31

9.2.4 Superposition of waves in 1D
9.2.5 Sinusoidal waves
9.2.6 Summing different wavelengths -- spectral analysis

Sinusoidal waves and Fourier analysis

Quiz 9
4/13 32 Beats Standing waves

Standing waves

4/15 33



Week 12

Seeing inside the body
Lab 11: Exploring complex absorption and emission in molecules
4/18 34

10 Three models of light
10.3 The photon model of light
10.3.1 Basic principles of the photon model

The photon model of light

4/20 35  

Go over midterm

4/22 36

10.1.1 Basic principles of the ray model
10.1.2 Flat mirrors

The ray model of light: Mirrors

HW 9

Week 13


Makeup lab
4/25 37 10.1.3 Curved mirrors Curved mirror equations
10.1.4 Lenses Lens equations

Curved mirrors & lenses

Quiz 10
4/27 38

10.2.1 Electromagnetic radiation and Maxwell's rainbow
10.2.2 Huygens' principle and the wave model


The wave model of light

4/29 39    

Guest lecture: Light in Biological Systems (Prof. Carleton)

HW 10

Week 14

Why do we see in the visible?

Makeup labs
5/2 40 The math of Huygens' principle
10.2.3 Two-slit interference


Quiz 11
5/4 41 10.2.4 Diffraction Interference from two wide slits



5/6 42 The Diffraction grating What you can learn from spectra

Diffraction grating and spectra

HW 11

Week 15

Last recitation and closing surveys
5/9 43 Reconciling the wave and photon model - sort of



Exam Week

  Time: TBD FINAL EXAM Location: TBD
University of Maryland


Edited by E.F. Redish 15 February 2016