Physics 438 / Biology 438 --- Zoological Physics


Professor Oser's dog challenges the speed of light.





Term: January 2018
Lecturer: Scott Oser
Class coordinates: Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays, 13:00-14:00 in Hennings 200
My Office Hours: Mondays 12:00-12:50, Thursdays 14:30-15:30, in Hennings 342

TAs: Phillip Morrison and Leon Ruocco

TA Office Hours: Fridays 14:30-15:30 in Biological Sciences 4309 (south wing)

Topics covered: Quantitative analysis of zoological systems; biological applications of thermodynamics, mechanics, and fluids; physics of animal body design and locomotion; wave phenomena; optical and acoustical applications to biology; electromagnetic senses of animals

Prerequisites: One of PHYS 101, PHYS 107, PHYS 117, SCI001. BIOL 325 is recommended but not required.

Required Textbook: Zoological Physics, by Boye Ahlborn. Note: an electronic copy of this book is available for free for UBC students from the UBC library web site. You must be using a UBC IP address or VPN to access it.


Your grade will be determined by:


Homework

30%

Midterm

15%

Poster Project

15%

Final Exam

40%


Homework:
There will be approximately biweekly homework assignments. You are welcome to discuss problems informally with your classmates. However, you must complete the assignment yourself, and if you hand in obviously copied homework, you should expect a mark of zero on that assignment, and a penalty to your final course grade. I reserve the right to refer incidents to UBC for an academic misconduct investigation as well. Assignments are due in class on their due date. Late assignments are not accepted, but I will throw out your lowest homework score for one assignment.


Poster Project: Working in teams of three or four you will prepare a "research poster" illustrating a particular example of zoological physics. This will include reviewing the relevant research literature and doing your own calculation/mathematical modelling of the topic you choose. We will end the term with two poster sessions at which you will show your poster as well as view your classmates' efforts. More details of the poster project will be given during the term.


Missed exams: There will be one in-class midterm exam. If you miss the exam with a legitimate excuse (proof of illness, family emergency, etc), see me to discuss make-up options.


Religious holidays: Students are entitled to request an alternate test date if a scheduled test date falls on one of their holy days. If you think this may apply to you, please contact me as soon as possible to make an alternate arrangement. Please don't put this off until the last minute---you must give at least two week's notice.

FINAL EXAM:
The date of the final exam is April 17 at 7pm in IBLC 261.


Syllabus
: A tentative lecture schedule follows. It may be adjusted as the course proceeds.


Lecture #

Date

Topics Covered

Reading Material
(Textbook Sections)

Assignment Due (tentative)

1

1/3

Introduction; Life and entropy; energy and metabolic rates

Ch 1.0-1.3.1


2

1/5

Allometric relationships; dimensional analysis; units

Ch 1.3.2-1.4.3


3

1/8

Energy and work; forces and muscles; mechanical efficiency

Ch 2.1-2.2.3


4

1/10

Power vs. efficiency tradeoffs; heat transfer; radiation, convection, conduction

Ch 2.2.4-2.3.8


5

1/12

Temperature range of life; maintaining body temperature; thermal properties of the ocean

Ch 2.4-2.5


6

1/15

Forces in equilibium; how muscles generate forces; energetics of muscles

Ch 3.1-3.2

HW 1

7

1/17

Hydrostatic forces: pressure, buoyancy, surface tension. Elastic forces; friction

Ch 3.3


8

1/19

Stress, strain, and materials properties. Allometry revisited

Ch 3.7-3.8


9

1/22

Mechanical principles of body design

Ch3.5-3.6


10

1/24

Fluid dynamics. Bernoulli's Law. Lift & drag.
(Note: in-class tutorial this day---be sure to read and study lecture notes ahead of class)

Ch 3.4


11

1/26

Moving nutrients across barriers: diffusion, cell size, pipe flow

Ch 4.1-4.2.1


12

1/29

Turbulence; blood pressure; the circulatory system

Ch 4.2.2-4.3.2

HW2

13

1/31

Oxygen requirements; capillaries; how lungs work; heart and breathing rates

Ch 4.3.3-4.4



2/2

MIDTERM EXAM



14

2/5

Basic kinematics; linear and rotational motion; moments of inertia; methods of acceleration

Ch 5.1-5.2.3


15

2/7

Terminal velocity; jet propulsion in animals; Energetics of movement; elastic materials in the body; resonance frequencies and motion

Ch 5.2.4-5.3


16

2/9

Poster project discussion


HW3


2/12

NO CLASS -- university holiday



17

2/14

Periodic motion and resonance

Ch 6.1


18

2/16

Swimming

Ch 6.2

project proposal due


2/19

NO CLASS -- midterm break




2/21

NO CLASS -- midterm break




2/23

NO CLASS -- midterm break



19 +

Boye Ahlborn lecture notes

2/26

Flying

Ch 6.3


20

2/28

Walking and running

Ch 6.4


21

3/2

Basic properties of waves: amplitude, phase, velocity

Ch 7.1-7.3.2


22

3/5

Basic properties of waves: interference, diffraction, reflection, refraction, Huygen's principle

Ch 7.3.3-7.5

HW4

23

3/7

Light; thermal spectra; pinhole cameras; refraction

Ch 8.1-8.2.3


24

3/9

How lenses work; diffraction; the human eye

Ch 8.2.4-8.3


25

3/12

Strange, freaky animal eyes

Ch 8.4-8.5


26

3/14

Interference effects in animals: anti-reflective coatings; why cat eyes shine in the dark; iridescence

Ch 8.6-8.7


27

3/16

What is sound? Speed, intensity, and impedance. Measuring volume. Beat phenomena

Ch 9.1-9.2.4


28

3/19

Impedance matching and sound transmission. The mammalian ear. Frequency/sensitivity range of hearing

Ch 9.2.5-9.3

HW5

29

3/21

Vibrations in strings. Vibrations in air columns. How animal voices work.

Ch 9.4-9.5


30

3/23

Echolocation; Doppler shifts

Ch 9.6-9.8


31

3/26

Electric fields, currents, resistivitiy. How nerves work. Sensing electric fields

Ch 10.1-10.3.1


32

3/28

Producing electric fields

Ch 10.3.2-10.4



3/30

GOOD FRIDAY --- UNIVERSITY CLOSED




4/2

EASTER MONDAY --- UNIVERSITY CLOSED




4/4

POSTER SESSION I: WRITTEN REPORTS DUE FOR ALL TEAMS




4/6

POSTER SESSION II


HW6 and
Project team peer evaluation

33

BONUS STUFF

Biological use of magnetic phenomena (Because the course was shortened by one class due to holidays, we won't cover this in class.)

Ch 10.5




Scott Oser (email me) December 14, 2017