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Biophysics For Dummies



Biophysics For Dummies

Author: Vos

Publisher: For Dummies

Genres:

Publish Date: September 24, 2013

ISBN-10: 1118513509

Pages: 432

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

Biophysics is a fascinating field of science that combines the study of the laws of physics with the study of systems involving living organisms (biology). The combination of these two fields makes biophysics interdisciplinary, which means biophysicists work side by side with people from many different backgrounds. Biophysics is a very diverse and interesting field; even if you spend your entire life studying biophysics, you can still discover new and interesting pieces of information.

About This Book

Biophysics For Dummies lays down the foundations for the fields of biophysics, including neurophysics, medical physics, health physics, and related fields that overlap with biophysics, presented in an easy-to-access manner. This reference book presents biophysics in plain English, so you can easily find what you’re looking for. When you’re reading, you don’t have to begin at the beginning. You can go directly to the chapter or section that interests you and start reading. Of course, I prefer that you read it from cover to cover, but then again, I am a bit biased. If you’re strapped for time and only want to read what you need to know, even when you’re reading the chapter or section of interest to you, you can skip the sidebars and the paragraphs marked with the Technical Stuff icon without losing any of the essential info.

This book is unique in that the majority of the material is at the introductory level, but the material presented is at an advanced enough level that you can use the book as a stepping stone in your biophysics studies. This book also lays out in a clear step-by-step procedure how to apply concepts in physics to problems in biophysics and the life sciences. The book introduces topics in the five fundamental areas of physics: mechanics, fluids, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, and nuclear physics.

You may notice while reading the book that I have done a few things that I hope make your reading and search of information easier:

✓ I avoid using URLs. These URLs can change over time, so I have placed only the more important ones that probably won’t change on the online Cheat Sheet. You can find all the important links in a single place for easy access with a single click at www.dummies.com/cheatsheet/ biophysics.

✓ I italicize all the variables used in mathematical formulas, so you can easily identify them. I also italicize words when I define them. Many words in biophysics have special meanings, and understanding the terminology is an important step toward comprehending the subject.
✓ I use certain symbols differently than do some other biophysics books.
The symbols are as follows:
• N for the torque instead of τ (tau), which is used in many introductory books. (Many engineering books use M.) Some more advanced physics books use N for torque and in addition, τ looks very similar to t (time), T (period), and T (half-life). I would have too many physical quantities using similar symbols.
• P(a) for absolute pressure, P(g) for gauge pressure, and P for power.
I have too many sections where I use power and pressure at the same time, so I distinguish them this way.
• E represents energy and F represents force. I distinguish between the different energies and forces by using subscripts. Some books use T or K for the kinetic energy and some use U or V for the potential energy. I use EK and EP instead for kinetic energy and potential energy.

Contents at a Glance
Introduction……………………………………………………….. 1
Part I: Getting Started with Biophysics…………………….. 5
Chapter 1: Welcoming You to the World of Biophysics………………………………………… 7
Chapter 2: Interrogating Biophysics: The Five Ws and One H………………………………19
Chapter 3: Speaking Physics: The Basics for All Areas of Biophysics…………………..25
Part II: Calling the Mechanics to
Fix Your Bio — Biomechanics……………………………….. 47
Chapter 4: Bullying Biomechanics with the Laws of Physics………………………………..49
Chapter 5: Sitting with Couch Potatoes — Static Equilibrium………………………………77
Chapter 6: Building the Mechanics of the Human Body and Animals…………………105
Chapter 7: Making The World Go Round With Physics — Dynamics………………….139
Chapter 8: Looking at Where Moving Objects Go — Kinematics………………………..165
Part III: Making Your Blood Boil —
The Physics of Fluids………………………………………… 187
Chapter 9: Understanding the Mechanics of Fluids and Cohesive Forces…………..189
Chapter 10: Going with the Fluid Flow — Fluid Dynamics………………………………….209
Chapter 11: Breaking through to the Other Side — Transport, Membranes,
and Porous Material………………………………………………………………………………………..235
Part IV: Playing the Music Too Loud —
Sound and Waves…………………………………………….. 253
Chapter 12: Examining the Physics of Waves and Sound……………………………………255
Chapter 13: Grasping How Animals and Instruments Produce Sound Waves……..275
Chapter 14: Detecting Sound Waves with the Ear………………………………………………293
Chapter 15: Listening to Sound — Doppler Effect, Echolocation, and Imaging……305

Part V: Interacting Subatomic Particles’ Influcence
on Biological Organisms…………………………………….. 315
Chapter 16: Charging Matter: The Laws of Physics for Electricity,
Magnetism, and Electromagnetism………………………………………………………………….317
Chapter 17: Tapping into the Physics of Radiation…………………………………………….339
Chapter 18: Fighting the Big C — But Not All Radiation Is Bad…………………………..359
Chapter 19: Seeing Good Biophysics in the Medical Field………………………………….375
Part VI: The Part of Tens……………………………………. 385
Chapter 20: Ten (or So) Tips to Help You Master Your Biophysics Course………..387
Chapter 21: Ten Careers for People Studying Biophysics…………………………………..391
Index…………………………………………………………….. 395


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