Introduction to Modern Physics for Life Scientists
This course contains three main parts. In the first part, we will build on what you have learned in Physics
1B03 (Mechanics and Waves) and learn about circular motion and angular momentum. In the second part,
we will learn about electromagnetic forces and fields, which are essential to the understanding of molecular
interactions in biological systems. In the third part, we will go beyond classical physics and learn some
basic quantum physics concepts, which will help us comprehend the nature of atoms and molecules. The
topics presented in this class, together with those presented in Physics 1B03, cover most of the material
required for the MCAT.
INSTRUCTOR NFORMATION :
Name: Dr. Mike Massa email: [email protected]
Office location: ABB-150 Extension: 23433
Office hours: Mon & Wed., 12:30pm-1:30pm
CLASS SCHEDULE :
Class meeting times:Mon. & Wed., 9:30am-12:20am Room: ABB 102
Course notes will be posted following the lecture (usually by evening same day).
Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics, R.D. Knight, Addison Wesley
The Physics 1BB3 Lab Manual can be purchased in Titles Bookstore; Additional lab materials will be
made available on A2L.
Name Room Email
Matilda Backholm ABB 337 [email protected]
Nehad Hirmiz ABB 335 [email protected]
Benjamin Keller ABB 149 [email protected]
Aaron Maxwell ABB 269D [email protected]
Amit Patel ABB 337 [email protected]
Syllabus Physics 1BB3 Summer 2012
C OURSE G OALS :
On completion of the course, you should be able to:
1) Understand the physical concepts introduced in class (e.g. angular momentum, electric potential, etc…).
These concepts will become familiar to you as long as you make the effort to carefully read the textbook
and actively review the material presented in class. The experimental work you will be doing in the labs
will also help because it will give you the opportunity to see these concepts at work. Your conceptual
understanding will be tested during the mid-term exams and final exam.
2) Be able to answer questions and solve problems relating to the topics presented in class. You will acquire
these problem-solving skills by working on exercises proposed in class and by doing regular homework.
Many exercises and problem sets are also available in your textbook, and I encourage you to take
advantage of it. The secret to solving problems quickly and reliably is practice. The more exercises you
solve, the faster and better you will become. Your problem-solving skills will be tested through home
assignments, and during the mid-term and final exams.
3) Run an experiment according to the scientific method. The laboratory experiments in this course have been
designed to help you recognize the common steps involved in any scientific experiment (formulation of a
hypothesis, design and execution of an experiment to test this hypothesis, data analysis, interpretation of
the results, communication of the results), and acquire the fundamental skills required to perform such
experiments. Your experimental skills will be tested during the labs and through marking of your lab
4) See how the Physics concepts learnt in class relate to the real world. Through your work in the lab and
through examples and demos presented in class, you should gain an understanding of how the laws of
Physics apply to practical situations as well as to different fields. In particular, we will see how Physics is
relevant to complex systems such as Biological systems.
A SSESSMENT :
Class Participation: 5%
Final exam: 35%
We will be using iClickers in almost every class. You will need to register your iClicker using your
McMaster ID at http://www.iclicker.com/registration. Please register your iClicker early in order to get
credit for your answers. Your responses will be used to determine your participation mark in the course.
M IDTERM EXAMS :
Tentative dates for the two midterms are shown in the table below – these are subject to change; exact dates
and times will be given in class. Be prepared to answer both multiple choice questions as well as worked
problems, where full solutions will be required to obtain all marks. Tests will be scheduled during the
lecture periods, and will take place during the first hour of that lecture (regular lecturing will resume
following the test, for the duration of the 3 hour lecture period).
FINAL E XAM :
The final exam will have the same format as the midterm exams (a combination of problems or questions
requiring a written answer and multiple-choice questions).