University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Phys 1201W.200

Introductory Physics for Biology and Pre-medicine I

Session: Fall 2014 (9/02-12/10)
Instructor: E. Dan Dahlberg (e-mail: dand @
Time: 1220 MTWF
Location: Phys 131

This is the first semester of a 2 semester course designed primarily for students majoring in the biological sciences or preparing for medical school. This is not a survey course of all physics but requires an in-depth understanding of fundamental principles and their application. A course in calculus equivalent to Math 1271, 1371 or 1241 taken previously or simultaneously is required. Students should have a working knowledge of derivatives as well as algebra and the geometry of right triangles. The course emphasizes an understanding of the fundamental principles of physics and their use in solving realistic quantitative problems of the
type found in biological applications. The first semester develops the concepts of forces and conservation principles to determine the behavior of a system. The importance of energy transfer between objects in a system and between systems will be emphasized, especially within the framework of thermodynamics. A required laboratory illustrates the application of the concepts and problem solving skills taught in this course to the real world. It will also emphasize technical communications skills. A discussion section gives the opportunity to discuss your conceptual understanding and your problem solving skills by practicing working problems with other students. The laboratory and discussions sections will emphasize collaborative problem solving as a powerful learning tool and as a preparation for work in your profession.

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