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Physics of the Life Sciences

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Physics of the Life Sciences by Jay Newman
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Physics for Life Sciences has its origins in a course that the author began developing at Union College in the mid ‘80s to teach physics to life science students in a way that would interest them and show the connections of fundamental physics to modern biology and medicine. This book is directed at life science students, and integrates modern biology, biophysics and medical techniques into the presentation of the material.

An exception to this is the presentation of one-dimensional mechanics through forces and energy before introducing vectors and generalizing to motion in more than one dimension. This allows students to focus on the physics concepts of kinematics, forces and energy without being distracted by the ideas of vector analysis. Also, an introductory chapter on the stability and structure of matter lays out basic concepts on atoms, forces in nature and energy in some detail so that these can be referred to on a conceptual basis from the start.

Wherever possible, themes from biology or medicine are used to present the physics material. The material speaks to life science students. Rather than optional sections at the end of occasional chapters, life science themes are plentiful and integral to the material in many places. Some of these topics are to be found as optional sections in other texts, but their role here is more fundamental.

The author has also chosen to not use any calculus in the main body of the text. There is occasional boxed material (averaging less than one box per chapter) using some calculus to derive fundamental relations. There is no other use of calculus in the text or in any of the end of chapter problems and the boxed material can be ignored without any loss of continuity.

Each chapter has three types of learning aides for the student: open-ended questions, multiple-choice questions, and quantitative problems. There is an average of about 50 per chapter. There are also a number of worked examples in the chapters, averaging over 5 per chapter, and almost 600 photos and line drawings.

Springer New York; March 2010
720 pages; ISBN 9780387772592
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Title: Physics of the Life Sciences
Author: Jay Newman
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