Introductory Physics for the Life Sciences

University of Newcastle

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Introductory Physics for the Life Sciences

  • Host University

    University of Newcastle

  • Location

    Newcastle, Australia

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Physics underpins most aspects of modern technology and medicine. Two examples include the development of electromagnetic wave theory, which led to electric power, radio and television; and atomic physics, which resulted in electronics, microchips and computers, nuclear medicine and radiation treatment of cancers. This course provides an overview of topics in physics that are of particular importance to the life and medical sciences. The course is non-calculus based and covers mechanics (units, motion, biomechanics, energy), electricity and magnetism, heat, nuclear physics, fluids, and waves.
    1. Demonstrate their understanding of the basic principles and concepts underlying a broad range of fundamental areas of physics
    2. Apply their knowledge of physics to everyday situations
    3. Demonstrate analytic and problem solving skills
    4. Demonstrate their knowledge of physics in a laboratory environment
    5. Communicate their scientific knowledge logically and effectively
    A non-calculus based course aimed at providing students with a basic understanding of the main principles and concepts in the following areas:
    • Basic Mechanics - Units of measurement and Unit conversions. Concentrations and Volumes. Laws of Motion. Mechanical equilibrium and biomechanics. Rotational Dynamics. Work & Energy. Human energy use and efficiency.
    • Electricity - Electric charges, forces and fields. Voltage: cell membranes and Separation of DNA. Capacitance. Electric current and electrical power. Electric Circuits.
    • Magnetism. Forces on electric charge and current in magnetic fields, Transformers. Applications to Life Sciences. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
    • Thermal Physics - Temperature. Thermal Expansion. Ideal Gas Law. Heat, Specific Heat. Calorimetry, Human activity and Heat. Heat Transfer.
    • Nuclear Physics - Nuclear Structure, Radioactivity, Radiocarbon dating, Biology and ionising radiation. Isotopes and DNA.
    • Fluid Mechanics - Density, Pressure and Viscosity. Archimedes Principle. Flow rate and Diffusion. Equation of Continuity. Bernoulli's Principle. Laminar and Turbulant Flow. Poiseuille's Equation. Surface Tension.
    • Waves - SHM and Resonance. Types of Wave Motion. Reflection, Transmission, Superposition and Interference. EM Spectrum, Optical Instruments. Fluorescence and biology.
    Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Laboratory Exercises
    In Term Test: Mid-semester test
    Formal Examination: Final examination

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.