Physics 438 / Biology 438 --- Zoological Physics


Professor Oser's dog challenges the speed of light.





Term: January 2020
Lecturer: Scott Oser
Class coordinates: Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays, 13:00-14:00 in CHEM C124
My Office Hours: Mondays 12:00-12:50, Thursdays 14:30-15:30, in Hennings 342

TAs: To be determined

TA Office Hours: To be determined

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

20%

Midterm

20%

Poster Project

15%

Final Exam

45%


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 not determined yet.


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

1/6

Introduction; Life and entropy; energy and metabolic rates

Ch 1.0-1.3.1


2

1/8

Allometric relationships; dimensional analysis; units

Ch 1.3.2-1.4.3


3

1/10

Energy and work; forces and muscles; mechanical efficiency

Ch 2.1-2.2.3


4

1/13

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

Ch 2.2.4-2.3.8



1/15

NO CLASS – PROFESSOR TO BE ABDUCTED BY ALIENS



5

1/17

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

Ch 2.4-2.5


6

1/20

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

Ch 3.1-3.2

HW 1

7

1/22

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

Ch 3.3


8

1/24

Stress, strain, and materials properties. Allometry revisited

Ch 3.7-3.8


9

1/27

Mechanical principles of body design

Ch3.5-3.6


10

1/29

Fluid dynamics. Bernoulli's Law. Lift & drag.

Ch 3.4


11

1/31

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

Ch 4.1-4.2.1


12

2/3

Turbulence; blood pressure; the circulatory system

Ch 4.2.2-4.3.2

HW2

project questionnaire

13

2/5

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

Ch 4.3.3-4.4


14

2/7

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

Ch 5.1-5.2.3


15

2/10

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

2/12

Poster project discussion




2/14

MIDTERM EXAM




2/17

NO CLASS -- midterm break




2/19

NO CLASS -- midterm break




2/21

NO CLASS -- midterm break



17

2/24

Periodic motion and resonance

Ch 6.1

project proposal due

18

2/26

Swimming

Ch 6.2

HW3

19 +

Boye Ahlborn lecture notes

2/28

Flying

Ch 6.3


20

3/2

Walking and running


Ch 6.4


21

3/4

Basic properties of waves: amplitude, phase, velocity

Ch 7.1-7.3.2


22

3/6

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

Ch 7.3.3-7.5


23

3/9

Light; thermal spectra; pinhole cameras; refraction

Ch 8.1-8.2.3

HW4

24

3/11

How lenses work; diffraction; the human eye

Ch 8.2.4-8.3


25

3/13

Strange, freaky animal eyes

Ch 8.4-8.5


26

3/16

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

Ch 8.6-8.7


27

3/18

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

Ch 9.1-9.2.4


28

3/20

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

Ch 9.2.5-9.3

HW5

29

3/23

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

Ch 9.4-9.5


30

3/25

Echolocation; Doppler shifts

Ch 9.6-9.8


31

3/27

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

Ch 10.1-10.3.1


32

3/30

Producing electric fields

Ch 10.3.2-10.4


33

4/1

Biological use of magnetic phenomena

Ch 10.5



4/3

No class today – work on your team projects




4/6

POSTER SESSION I: WRITTEN REPORTS DUE FOR ALL TEAMS




4/8

POSTER SESSION II


HW6 and
Project team peer evaluation



Scott Oser (email me) October 3, 2020