BIP-10803 Physics for Life Sciences


Credits 3.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. H van Amerongen
Lecturer(s)dr. AN Bader
prof. dr. H van Amerongen
CJAM Wolfs
Examiner(s)prof. dr. H van Amerongen

Language of instruction:

Dutch or English


Physics, being a mathematical science, is being presented here as a tool to study biological phenomena. The emphasis is put on a handful of basic underlying principles and their use when trying to solve a diversity of problems from the realistic practice. The topics comprise the kinematics in one and two dimensions, dynamics, statics, hydrostatics and flow phenomena, kinetic theory of gases, thermal motion, diffusion, temperature and heat, calorimetry and phase changes, the steady state transfer of heat by conduction, convention and radiation etc.
Treating each of the above topics includes a descriptive survey of the basic physical concepts followed by a number of illustrative applications with a sufficient amount of biological details.

Learning outcomes:

Upon completing the course, the student is expected to be able to:
- recognize and apply physical principles governing biological procsses;
- indicate the type of relationship, the role and the characteristics of all physical factors (parameters) involved in such processes;
- to solve a variety of elementary problems.


Study book; solve exercises and problems, independent and under supervision.


A three hours long written open book exam with open questions covering all treated subjects. A minimum mark of 5.5 is required.


Textbook: F.R. Hallet, J.L. Hunt, R.H. Stinson, E. McFarland, G. Renniger and D. Sullivan. (2003). Physics for Biological Sciences: A Topical Approach to Biophysical Concepts. 4th ed. Nelson Thompson, Toronto, Canada.

Compulsory for: BBIBiologyBSc6MO
Restricted Optional for: BLSBachelor Orientation year Life SciencesBSc6MO