Resources and community for teaching physics for life sciences

Physics Topics

Life Sciences Topics

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7 Contributions

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Living Physics Portal Team

NEXUS Physics


Ben Geller

Pedagogical Methods Used

Peer Instruction / Think-Pair-Share, Collaborative problem-solving, Conceptually-oriented activities, Context-rich problems, Guided inquiry, Mathematically-focused activities, Experimentally-focused activities, Tutorials

Life Sciences Focus

I've worked on curricula related to random motion and entropy, fluid dynamics in living systems, the second law of thermodynamics and free energy, magnetic sensing and NMR/MRI, and modeling cellular and neural systems.

Education Research and Pedagogy Expertise

I'm particularly interested in questions of affect and engagement: how do the tasks we choose and the manner in which we implement them affect life science students' interest and engagement in intro physics?

Describe the courses that you teach for life sciences students

I teach a two-semester introductory physics course targeting life science and biochemistry students: Introductory Physics with Biochemical and Biomedical Applications

What is your approach to teaching physics for life science students?

My goal is to leverage students' backgrounds in biology and chemistry by exploring contexts for which those backgrounds are relevant, and to be explicit about the ways in which fundamental physics informs those disciplines.

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The NEXUS Physics Wikibook Printable Version (ver 0.8)

Remote Learning, Instructor supplement, Student reading, Pre-class assignment

A free set of readings for a one year IPLS course. Available as a PDF file or as free webpages. (version 0.8)

Cross-cutting Biological Concepts

Motion in One Dimension, Motion in Two Dimensions, Newton's First Law, Newton's Second Law, Newton's Third Law, Applications of Newton's Laws, Work and Energy, Linear Momentum, Electrostatics, Electric Fields and Potential, Capacitance, Resistance, DC Circuits, Surface Tension, Statics of Fluids, Geometrical Optics, Interference, Oscillations, Wave Motion, Second and Third Law, Probability, Ensembles, Diffusion

Edward Redish


Introduction to the Electrocardiogram

Student reading, Instructor supplement, Clicker question, Lecture materials, Lab, Homework

Students measure an ECG and work out the corresponding moving electric dipole moment of the heart

Electrical Diagnostics, Healthy Cardiovascular Function, Cardiovascular Disorders

Multipoles, Electric Field, Electrostatic Potential and Potential Energy

+ 1

Catherine Crouch

Ben Geller

+ 1 more

Fluid dynamics with applications to cardiology

Homework, Instructor supplement, In-class activity, Clicker question, Lecture materials, Pre-class assignment

Fluid dynamics in the context of normal and diseased physiology in the human cardiovascular system

Cardiovascular Disorders, Healthy Cardiovascular Function

Flow Rate, Bernoulli's Principle, Hagen-Poiseuille Equation, Viscosity

+ 1

Catherine Crouch

Ben Geller

+ 1 more


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