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Physics Today
written by Dawn C. Meredith and Edward F. Redish
Physics departments have long been providing service courses for premedical students and biology majors. But in the past few decades, the life sciences have grown explosively as new techniques, new instruments, and a growing understanding of biological mechanisms have enabled biologists to better understand the physiochemical processes of life at all scales, from the molecular to the ecological. Quantitative measurements and modeling are emerging as key biological tools. As a result, biologists are demanding more effective and relevant undergraduate service classes in math, chemistry, and physics to help prepare students for the new, more quantitative life sciences. In general, physicists stress reasoning from a few fundamental principles--usually mathematically formulated--and seek to build understanding from the simplest possible models. They view the world quantitatively and pay much attention to constraints, such as conservation laws, that hold regardless of a system's internal details. Biologists, on the other hand, focus on real examples and emphasize structure–function relationships, with less emphasis on quantitative reasoning. The systems they deal with are almost always highly complex, with many interacting parts that lead to emergent phenomena. This paper examines ways in which introductory physics courses for life science majors can bridge the gap by promoting specific skills such as building simple quantitative models, connecting equations to physical meaning, integrating multiple representations, estimating, and practice with scaling.
Physics Today: Volume 66, Issue 7, Pages 38-43
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© 2013 American Institute of Physics (AIP)
doi: 10.1063/PT.3.2046
IPLS, Introductory Physics for Life Sciences, NEXUS Physics
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created May 18, 2023 by Sam McKagan
Record Updated:
June 13, 2023 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
June 28, 2013
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AIP Format
D. Meredith and E. Redish, , Phys. Today 66 (7), 38 (2013), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1063/pt.3.2046).
D. Meredith and E. Redish, Reinventing physics for life-sciences majors, Phys. Today 66 (7), 38 (2013), <https://doi.org/10.1063/pt.3.2046>.
APA Format
Meredith, D., & Redish, E. (2013, June 28). Reinventing physics for life-sciences majors. Phys. Today, 66(7), 38-43. Retrieved May 27, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1063/pt.3.2046
Chicago Format
Meredith, Dawn, and Edward F. Redish. "Reinventing physics for life-sciences majors." Phys. Today. 66, no. 7, (June 28, 2013): 38-43, https://doi.org/10.1063/pt.3.2046 (accessed 27 May 2024).
MLA Format
Meredith, Dawn, and Edward F. Redish. "Reinventing physics for life-sciences majors." Phys. Today 66.7 (2013): 38-43. 27 May 2024 <https://doi.org/10.1063/pt.3.2046>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Dawn Meredith and Edward F. Redish", Title = {Reinventing physics for life-sciences majors}, Journal = {Phys. Today}, Volume = {66}, Number = {7}, Pages = {38-43}, Month = {June}, Year = {2013} }
Refer Export Format

%A Dawn Meredith %A Edward F. Redish %T Reinventing physics for life-sciences majors %J Phys. Today %V 66 %N 7 %D June 28, 2013 %P 38-43 %U https://doi.org/10.1063/pt.3.2046 %O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Meredith, Dawn %A Redish, Edward F. %D June 28, 2013 %T Reinventing physics for life-sciences majors %J Phys. Today %V 66 %N 7 %P 38-43 %8 June 28, 2013 %U https://doi.org/10.1063/pt.3.2046

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