Web resources for use with:
Physics for the Biological Sciences 3rd and 4th
F.R. Hallett, J.L. Hunt, E.L. McFarland
G.H. Renninger, R.H. Stinson and D.E. Sullivan
Update Sept. 26, 2007 by JLH
Send us mail
This tutorial is specifically referred to in Chapter 1. Dimensional
is an essential skill in all quantative science.
A review of the techniques required to sketch (not plot) graphs of
polynomials and how to linearize functions to produce straight line
Functions: Similar to the previous tutorial but dealing with sin
cos functions in the form of traveling and standing waves. Essential
Chapters 1, 2, and 4.
review of natural (ln) and base-10 (log) logarithms. The tutorial
definitions, numerical values and algebraic manipulation of logarithms.
Essential for Chapter 2.
- Graphing with
Paper: Instructs the student in the use of semi-log graphs to
exponential functions and log-log graphs to analyze power laws.
of basic algebra manipulations up to the solution of the quadratic
Here is another excellent interactive tutorial on the Algebra of
A review of the definitions of the trigonometric functions and their
interrelations. Also included is the very important CAST rule.
The definition of vectors (particularly in 2-dimensions) and their
Addition, subtraction and multiplication (dot and cross product) of
is covered. See also the applet below for Chapter 8.
How do you convert mi/hr to m/s? Students often find this kind of
difficult. In this brief tutorial you learn how to do it with assurance
- Don't know how to use a vernier
caliper? Here's an applet by Fu-Kwun Hwang that will teach
Chapter 1:Vibrations and Waves
harmonic motion: Set the parameters of a mass on a spring. Set it
motion by grabbing it with the mouse and draging it down to see the
oscillation. Then trace out the graphs of x, v, a with time. (Another
fine applet by Walter Fendt.)
Motion: This tutorial reviews all of the aspects of SHM: amplitude,
f, T, phase etc.
Chapter2:Sound, Hearing and Echolocation
and Harmonics: A quick review of the harmonic structure in closed
open pipes from the U. of New South Wales in Australia. You can
also connect to interesting pages on musical acoustics.
is a decibel? Another quick review from Australia covering the
of the decible in sound.
Demo: Do you want to know what a sound difference of 3, 6, 10, and
20 dB sounds like? If your computer has a sound card then try this
wave: Here you can experiment with a longitudinal wave in an
long medium or in a pipe closed at both or one end. You can change the
frequency and speed of the wave. The graphics show both the pressure
and the molecular positions as the wave progresses.
of Longitudinal waves: The super position of two longitudinal
travelling in opposite directions produces a longitudinal standing
Here you can change the phase of the two waves and other parameters.
Effect: An animated demonstration of the Doppler Effect by Walter
in the Ear: The University of Wisconsin Dept. of Neurophysiology
created a series of short animations illustrating the motion of the ear
drum, ossicles, and more. If you have a sound card you can also listen
to speech as heard by a normal ear and ones with moderate and severe
Chapter 3:Light and the Optics of Vision
This applet allows you to tune across the entire electromagnetic
(like a radio dial-move the indicator with the mouse). It displays the
energy, frequency wavelength etc in a wide selection of units.
Law: An interactive applet that allows you to experiment with
Law. Change the angle of incidence and the indices of refraction and
the result on a beam of light waves. An applet by Philip Dukes of
and Refraction: Shows the refracted and reflected rays at the
between two media. You can change the refractive indices of both media.
(By Walter Fendt)
Lens: This applet allows you to change the object position with a
lens and see where the image is formed. In addition it draws the
rays and see the graphical method of finding the image. The numerical
of the lens equation is also given. (An excellent interactive applet
by the Sergy Kisalev and Tanya Yanovsky-Kisalev.)
Lens: Identical to the preceding except for a diverging lens.
acuity: This site presents the standard Snellen Eye Chart to
visual acuity. (Its presentation here is not intended to replace an
by a physician.)
interna reflection: Investigate the phenomenon of total internal
from the point of view of a fish under water. (By the Kisalev team.)
Because the index of refraction varies with wavelength, light is
in wavelength (colour) when it enters a slab of glass. Experiment with
this in this applet. (By the Kisalev team.)
of the Eye. This is a very complete site with great graphics by
Baudart where you can review much of the material in this chapter.
neglect to use the excellent applet at the end that allows you to
the parameters of a lens to see the effects.
Chapter 4:Absorption and Emission of
Electromagnetic Wave. An applet by Walter Fendt that
the generation of the electric and magnetic fields by an oscillating
Energy Level Diagram: Put an atom in an excited state and observe
emission of photons as the atom de-excites. The energy levels are in
can you verify the wavelengths emitted? An applet from the Virtual Lab
at the University of Oregon.
Chapter 5:Quantum Nature of Vision
This is a web site that includes nice three dimensional movies of the
of rhodopsin along with more information about the molecule and its
Also included are references for the interested and links to other
web sites. (By Gebhard Schertler, Cambridge U.)
Chapter 6:Radiation Biophysics
Growth and Decay: The exponential function is perhaps the most
simple function in all of science. Here is a tutorial on exponential
and decay; Chapter 6 is a good introduction to this topic with
An applet that simulates the random processes in radioactive decay and
graphs the decay of the parent and the growth of the daughter isotopes.
(From the University of Colorado Physics 2000 program)
Chapter 7:Mechanics of Biological
- Kinematics: This
applet from the Walter Fendt lets you set the initial
(position, velocity, acceleration) and see the resultant motion and
of position, velocity and acceleration vs. time.
motion: An instructive applet which looks at the kinematics of a
. (By Walter Fendt.)
motion: Another applet on projectile motion. You could use this to
set up problems and check answers. To clear the trails make one run
the "trails" clicked off.
Chapter 8:Mechanics of Biological
- If you have trouble with vectors you
do the tutorial on vectors
listed in the remedial list at the top of the page. It is not possible
to do this chapter (and indeed any good physics) without a thorough
in vector algebra.
of vectors: An applet that lets you add two vectors and see the
result. Also shown are the components of each vector and its sum. (By
Volker Augustin and Juleo Gea-Banacloche.)
of 2 or more forces: An application of the addition of vectors. (By
- Equilibrium: Perform
a virtual experiment on the equilibrium of 3 forces. By Walter
Perform a virtual experiment dragging a block up an inclined plane with
and without friction. (By Walter Fendt)
of Momentum: Initiate collisions in one dimension and verify the
principle. (By Walter Fendt)
Chapter 9;Mechanics of Biological
Rotational Motion: A tutorial to help you with the concepts
in rotation and the torques that cause it.
force: An interactive simulation experiment that lets you control
central force acting on a mass moving uniformly in a circle and check
the equations of uniform circular motion. (Another excellent applet
by Walter Fendt.)
Chapter 10:Elasticity and Scaling
Chapter 11:Fluid Statics
Earth's atmosphere: This is an interactive molecular dynamics model
of the atmosphere. You can change various parameters such as the
molecular mass and the number of molecules. The model shows a graph of
the number of molecules vs. height. (By Prof. Christopher J. Grayce,
University of California at Irvine.)
Pressure: Investigate the relation between pressure and depth with
this simulated experiment by Walter Fendt.
Chapter 12:Fluid Dynamics
Equation: An applet that lets you experiment with Bernoulli's
equation in a venturi tube. You can change the flow, pressure, radius
(An excellent tutorial by Prof. Kinnas of the U. of Texas.)
Chapter 13:Thermal Motion of Molecules
Principle: This principle, which is often misquoted in
for example, often gives students trouble. Here you can perform a
experiment on buoyancy to see the principle for yourself. (Another
applet by Walter Fendt.)
Motion: In this applet you can see a simulation of the
between a large suspended particle and the molecules of the suspending
fluid. Along with this is presented a view through a microscope where,
of course you can only see the large particle. (By Michael Fowler,
of Physics, Univ. of Virginia. Written by Drew Dolgert.)
velocity distribution: In this applet you can change the
of a gas in a balloon and see the pressure change. In addition the
of molecular velocities is displayed on a graph. Be careful you dont
the balloon! (From the virtual lab at the University of Oregon.)
Chapter 14:Heat and Heat Flow in
nice review by Beverly T. Lynds (with pictures) of the
of temperature, heat, and thermodynamics. The blackbody radiation curve
is discussed and the 3 degree K temperature of the universe.
curves: This interactive applet lets you look at 2 blackbody curves
at once. You can choose the temperature of each and examine the way the
total area (intensity) and peak wavelength vary with temperature. (By
Sean Russell, Amy McGraw and Greg Bothun at the University of Oregon.)
Chapter 16:Magnetism (4th
Force and Field: A nice applet that lets you see the magnitude of
electric force on a number of test charges in the presence of 1 or 2
charges. The test charges can be dragged around with the mouse and the
polarity of the fixed charges can be changed (right click). (From
Virtual Laboratory at the University of Colorado at Boulder.)
This tutorial has been chosen by The Discovery Channel for an
award. It covers the basics of Ohm's Law and the connection of
in series and parallel in simple circuits.
Law, 2 resistors: Experiment with a circuit containing up to 2
You can change the resistance values and the applied voltages. You
the circuit yourself. See if you can use Ohm's law to calculate the
and resistances. (Another excellent applet by the Kisalevs.)
Law, 4 resistors: Similar to the preceding but with more resistors.
Law Experiment: In this applet you can do two virtual experiments;
1. By trial and error changing the battery and series resistor in a
containing a lamp, determine the current which lights the lamp. 2. Use
ohms law to choose a battery and series resistor to light a lamp of
current. Good practise on Ohm's law! (From the virtual laboratory at
the University of Oregon)
Art. Be sure to look at these beautiful photographs taken by Minako
Takeno using a magnetic fluid.
Here is an applet by W. Fendt where you can experiment with a bar
and trace out its field.
field of a current. Again an applet by W. Fendt where you can trace
out the magnetic field of a current carrying wire.