Physics for Life Sciences (PHYS*1080)

Code and section: PHYS*1080*01

Term: Fall 2014

Instructor: Jason Thomas, Christian Schultz-Nielsen


Course Information

General Information

Prerequisites: (1 of 4U Physics, OAC Physics, PHYS*1020), one 4U or OAC Mathematics course
Course Credit Weight: 0.5

Academic Misconduct

The University of Guelph takes a serious view of academic misconduct and will severely penalize students, faculty and staff who are found guilty of offences associated with misappropriation of others' work, misrepresentation of personal performance and fraud, improper access to scholarly resources, and obstructing others in pursuit of their academic endeavors. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection.

Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor. Each student is assumed to be familiar with the regulations surrounding academic misconducts, as spelled out in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Course Related Information and Contact

Quiz Room Location: SSC1101A
Laboratory Location: MacN304A
Lost and Found: "Lost and Found" is in the Quiz Room (SSC 1101A).
Quiz Room Hours: Posted on D2L – see Quiz Room Operating Hours
Lab Room Hours: Posted on D2L – see Lab Room Operating Hours.
Extra opening times may be added depending on enrolment.

Main Course Contact

Quiz Room Supervisor Office Extension Email
Cindy Wells SSC1101A 52445

Please contact the Quiz Room Supervisor with all course related inquiries and email to report any illness or errors in your D2L record. Desire2Learn (D2L)

Students in this course will need to use Desire2Learn (D2L) to write required Pretests, perform a simulated experiment on diffusion for Study Guide 17, and check their term marks. As soon as possible, you should check that you can log in to D2L:


Lecturer Office Extension Email
Jason "The Great Orbax" Thomas MacN 328 52625
Chris Shultz-Nielsen MacN 431 56618

Lecture Sections

Section Day Time Location
01 Tuesday, Thursday 11:30am – 12:50pm MacN 105
02 Tuesday, Thursday 2:30pm – 3:50pm MacN 105

Lecture Schedule

Week Lecture Date Topic(s) Study Guide
1 1-3 September 4/8 - Kinematics
- Forces
2 4 -5 September 15 - Forces and Torques
- Momentum, Work & Energy
3 6-7 September 22 - Energy, Rotational Motion 11
4 8-9 September 29 - Rotational Motion 11
5 10-11 October 6 - Elasticity
- Scaling
6 12 October 13 - Pressure 13
7 13-14 October 20 - Barometric equation, surface tension
- Non-Viscous Fluid Flow
8 15-16 October 27 - Viscous Fluid Flow
- Pulsatile Flow, Bolus Flow, Turbulence
9 17-18 November 3 - Turbulence, Aneurysms
- Perrin’s Experiment
10 19 - 20 November 10 - Sedimentation
- Diffusion
16, 17
11 21 - 22 November 17 - Osmotic Pressure
- Heat
17, 18
12 23-24 November 24 - Heat
- Review, Info re Final Exams

Note: The information in the “Lecture Topic” column is provided as a rough guide for the term. Future announcements about changes to the table or of any kind will be made in class and posted on Courselink; these announcements take precedence over the original course outline!

Course Materials

  1. Text: PHYSICS FOR THE BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 5TH EDITION, Williams, Sullivan, McFarland, Renninger, Hunt. Available in the Campus Bookstore (1st floor MacNaughton).
  2. Study Guide/Laboratory Manual for PHYS*1080 (2014 printing) SSC1101A ($30.00 cash only-exact change appreciated)
    Booksale - The Quiz Room will be open for the sale of manuals Thursday, Friday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. September, 4-10 from 9am - 12pm and 1pm - 4pm. After Sept. 10th this item may be purchased in the Quiz Room during normal Quiz Room daytime hours as posted on D2L.
  3. i-Clicker Student Response Unit – available in the University Bookstore. A Classroom Response System will be used this semester where students use Personal Response Units (commonly known as “clickers”) to register their responses to questions posed in class.
  4. Calculator (with trig functions, logs, etc.) – (graphing calculators and electronic devices, ie., cell phones, ipods, ipads, notepads, etc., are not allowed in the quiz room or at the exam)
  5. This Course Outline: includes important dates and deadlines, lecture schedule, evaluation information, personal record sheet, etc.
  6. In addition to the pretests and the experiment for Study Guide 17, the following items are available via D2L:
    a. Solutions to Self-Tests in the Study Guides
    b. Two Sample Final Examinations
    c. Textbook Problem Solutions for all the mechanics problems (Chapters 7-10) and for selected problems in the remaining chapters.
    d. Computer Tutorials on various topics (list on page. 8)
    e. Errata for the textbook.
    f. One sample quiz for each Study Guide.


Assessment Weight
Quizzes (5x10%)
(see page 5 for information on quiz deadlines and notes)
Final Exam 50%

Evaluation of Quiz Marks

Quizzes are marked out of 10
8/10 or higher receive 10 out of 10 (highest possible mark per unit) between 4.0/10 and 7/10 (inclusive) receive 2 marks per attempt less than 4/10 receive zero
The partial mark of 2 does not add to a mark of 10. It is awarded on the condition you do not receive a “pass” on any attempt on a unit quiz. See the examples below.

Four examples:

  1. A student earns 4.0/10 on the first quiz attempt, 6.0/10 on the second quiz attempt, and 8.0/10 on the third quiz attempt. Mark received: 10 out of 10.
  2. A student earns 4.0/10 on the first quiz attempt, 5.5/10 on the second quiz attempt, and 7.5/10 on the third quiz attempt. Mark received: 6 out of 10.
  3. A student earns 2.5/10 on the first quiz attempt, 4.0/10 on the second, and 7.5/10 on the third. Mark received: 4 out of 10.
  4. A student earns 7.5/10 on the first quiz attempt and tries no further quizzes. Mark received: 2 out of 10.

Final Examination

Final Exam Date: Tuesday December 2, 2014 from 7:00pm 9:00pm.

How the Course Works


Students' study schedules at University are often based on a crisis-to-crisis approach (When's my next midterm exam?) rather than on organized learning. To reduce this problem, Physics For Life Sciences is offered using a "Personalized Instruction" method which gives the student some flexibility in scheduling study time.

The central idea of this teaching method is the accommodation of both the student who needs or likes formal lecture teaching and the student who prefers guided self-instruction. Indeed, in this course, any combination of these two extremes may be mixed to the student's own taste.

Many thousands of students have taken this course and almost every semester has seen some modification, usually minor, in the operation of the course. The present version of the study materials incorporates a large number of constructive suggestions made by students. We hope you will continue to point out errors, omissions and weaknesses so that the course and its teaching materials can be regularly upgraded. We are confident that this thoroughly tested learning concept will continue to be met with enthusiastic approval from the majority of our students.


Formal lectures will be given and you will find a detailed timetable of dates and topics in this course handout. Students may attend all of the lectures or select only those topics in which they feel they need lecture support. You are strongly advised to attend lectures until you are sure that the self-study method works for you. In any case, the entire course content will be covered in these lectures. Whether you attend lectures or not, it is your responsibility to check D2L and the door to the Quiz Room for important weekly notices regarding the course.


The Study Guide (SG) contains the ten modules (Study Guides 9 to 18) for this course, which are summarized on page 6 of this outline. These ten modules cover the entire course and are designed so that you need never actually attend a lecture if you follow their advice scrupulously. (You must, however, do laboratory work.) Each module provides you with:

  1. a brief introductory discussion of what the module is about,
  2. the educational objectives of the module,
  3. a detailed study guide (reading and problem lists, etc.)
  4. self tests,
  5. answers to self tests, and sometimes
  6. extra problems.

These self-study modules are your chief help; the Study Guide is a teacher at your side constantly and should be studied with care.

Quiz Deadlines and Important Notes

Week Date Notes
0 Thursday, September 4 Quiz Room Opens for Writing
1 Wednesday, September 10 Lab Room (MacN 304A) is open
4 Friday, October 3

Last day for Quiz #6

  1. Pretest 6 (online)
  2. Kinematics (Study Guide 9)
  3. Newton’s Laws, Momentum & Energy (Study Guide 10)
  4. Experiment 10 – Forces and Torques: Equilibrium (MacN304A)
7 Tuesday October 21

Last day for Quiz #7

  1. Pretest 7 (online)
  2. Rotational Motion (Study Guide 11)
8 Friday, October 31

Last day for Quiz #8

  1. Pretest 8 (online)
  2. Elasticity & Scaling. (Study Guide 12)
  3. Experiment 12 – Elasticity (MacN 304A)
  4. Pressure & Surface Tension (Study Guide 13)
  5. Experiment 13 – Density and Surface Tension of Liquids (MacN304A)
10 Friday, November 14

Last day for Quiz #9

  1. Pretest 9 (online)
  2. Fluids in Motion (Study Guide 14)
  3. Experiment 14 – Viscosity of Liquids (MacN304A)
  4. Turbulent Flow (Study Guide 15)
12 Friday, November 28

Last day for Quiz #10

  1. Pretest 10 (online)
  2. Boltzmann Eq’n & Sedimentation (Study Guide 16)
  3. Diffusion, Osmotic Pressure (Study Guide 17)
  4. Experiment 17 – Diffusion (computer on line lab)
12 Friday, November 28 Quiz Room closes at 4:00pm

Obtaining Help In the Course

  1. Physics Learning Centre, Library 3rd Floor, LIB370. The hours will be posted on D2L. This room opens in week three. Help will be provided in the quiz room during weeks 1 and 2 as required. Lost and found for LIB370 is at the circulation desk in the library.
    NOTE: The Physics Learning Commons is for help in physics courses PHYS*1070, 1080 and 1130.
  2. Help may be obtained from the lecturer. Short questions can often be handled in the lecture room just before or after lectures. For other times, the lecturer’s office hours will be announced in lecture.
  3. Help may be obtained in rooms MacN 304A or 304. These are the lab rooms for this course and PHYS*1070. When these rooms are open you may obtain help with course-related problems from the instructors, but remember that their first priority is to help students who are doing experiments and to check lab reports, etc.
  4. The following items are available via D2L:
    a. A set of 2 final examinations from previous semesters.
    b. Complete solutions to all Study Guide Self Tests.
    c. Complete solutions for all the textbook problems on mechanics (Chapters 7-10) and for selected problems in the remaining chapters.
    d. Errata for the textbook.
    e. Several computerized tutorials are available. The useful tutorials for this course are:
    - i. Vectors
    - ii. Exponential growth and decay
    - iii. Logarithms
    - iv. Trigonometry
    - v. Free body diagrams
    - vi. Graphing log paper
    - vii. Graphing simple functions
    - viii. Dimensional analysis
    - ix. Torque and rotational motion


Laboratory Protocol

  • Lab experiment sign up is done on-line via D2L. Begin your labs as soon as possible. It is recommended that you start the lab portion of this course during the first couple of weeks of the semester. It is mandatory that you sign up for all your labs and create your own personal lab schedule early in the semester to ensure that all labs can be completed by the lab quiz deadline dates (plan carefully). Print a copy of your lab schedule and staple it inside your lab manual as your lab TA may ask for it if more than the max. Number of students show up for a booked station. Only those signed up to a station will be allowed in the lab. You must attend all of your scheduled labs.
  • Please note: lab sign-up is restricted to 1.5 hour time slots which is sufficient time to collect the required data and complete your calculations. You are required to be familiar with the lab material before arriving to ensure completion within the 1.5 hour session. A completion TA signature and seal is mandatory prior to leaving the lab. Once you have completed the lab data and calculations and obtained a TA signature/seal you will tear off that signed/sealed portion and hand it at the Quiz Room when making your first attempt at the related quiz.

Quiz Room Information

Quiz Room Protocol

  • Students must show their U of G photo ID card in order to write a quiz.
  • Only 1 quiz attempt per time slot allowed on same quiz group.
  • Your 1st attempt should be at least 3 time slots before the deadline to allow for a possible 2nd or 3rd attempt. All quizzes are available from week 1 and they can be written as early as you want. The dates above only reflect the last possible date that particular quiz is available to write.
  • No credit will be granted for labs or quizzes completed during a previous semester.
  • If you absolutely cannot stay to have your quiz marked, you may leave it. It will be marked at the end of the quiz period and the mark posted. It will be available for you to look at for two further quiz periods.
  • Book Bag Lock (optional) – Book bags are not allowed to be taken to your quiz writing station in the quiz room. The designated area for book bags is equipped with cables for locking (you must bring your own lock).
  • Pretests must be passed with a minimum of 60% before the required quiz is attempted. Allow at least 1 hour for your Pretest grade to be processed.
  • All electronic devices must be concealed while in the quiz and lab rooms ie, cell phones, lap tops, ipods, tablets etc.
  • All quizzes remain in the quiz room.
  • Wait quietly to have your quiz graded by the TA’s. If you miss hearing your name your quiz will be graded in your absence.

The Pretests

Before any quiz can be written for credit, a Pretest must be taken and passed at the level of 60%. These Pretests are designed to permit a self-examination of the basic concepts and objectives of the modules in question. Each Pretest consists of a variety of simple questions in one of 4 formats:

  1. multiple choice
  2. true or false
  3. pairwise matching
  4. enter a number or symbol

The Pretests are delivered using D2L and so can be taken from any location which has computers connected to the internet. Login instructions for D2L on page.2.
Follow the login instructions and the instructions which follow enabling you to take the Pretest. Upon completion it will be marked and an explanation provided for every question for which you selected the wrong answer. These should be studied carefully.

When you obtain at least 60% on the Pretest (allow 1 hour for your mark to process), you may then proceed to the Quiz Room (SSC1101A) to write a quiz for credit.

If you failed to get 60%, you must repeat the Pretest until 60% is obtained. Pretests are unlimited. The Pretest must be recorded as a pass before a Quiz for credit may be written.

Of course, you get the maximum advantage from these Pretests if you do them without help and, as much as possible, without aids (textbook, etc.).

Also available on the D2L is a sample quiz for each Study Guide, similar to quizzes that you will write in the Quiz Room.

It is a serious academic offence to copy, print or otherwise store this material or to attempt to alter it in any way.

Diagnostic Quizzes

Note that quizzes are withdrawn on specific dates (see above), so these should be attempted as appropriate. Also, note that some quizzes may require knowledge of material from previous quizzes. A non-credit Pretest must be passed before its Quiz for credit can be written. The Pretests are available on D2L. See page 8 for details. There is a Pretest available for Study Guide 18 even though there is no quiz. This is strongly recommended for study purposes for the final exam.

Regardless of the combination of formal lectures and/or self-study you use to acquire knowledge in the course, the question is "how do you demonstrate this knowledge and receive credit for it?" When you think you have mastered the contents of the required modules, and have passed (60%) the associated Pretest, you should go to the Quiz Room where you may request a Diagnostic Quiz. This quiz is designed to test your mastery of the material. Note however a very important point. There are far more study guide topics than there are quizzes that you are expected to write. Consequently, most quizzes have been combined to include questions from two study guides as shown above on this page. For example, Quiz #6 contains questions from Kinematics, Newton’s Laws, Momentum & Energy and Experiment 10. It is therefore very important that you come prepared for both study guides and have passed the pretest.You will need your University of Guelph photo ID card in order to write a quiz. This quiz is designed to test your mastery of the material. The time allotted for each quiz is 20 minutes. When you have completed the quiz, it is marked immediately by a tutor in your presence. In this way, no time is wasted teaching you things you already know, but the quiz will isolate those things (if any) you don't know. The tutor will give you help on the spot. It is important to emphasize the diagnostic aspect of this quiz; diagnosis is its prime purpose. It is of no value to write one if you are not prepared; you are wasting everyone's time. The level at which you are considered to have "mastered" the material is 80%, i.e., the "pass mark" is 8.0 out of 10.0. Please see “Evaluation of Quiz Marks”.

Each quiz that is passed contributes 10% toward your course mark. If you do not get 8 out of 10 on your first attempt (and you may not), it doesn't matter. There is no stigma attached to failing this quiz; that is not its purpose. You may go away, study, and try again. The quiz will have served to show you what you must study.

Obviously there must be a limit to the number of times you may write quizzes on a single group, and this has been set at three. Also, you may not attempt more than one quiz on any given group in a single quiz period.

During quizzes (and the final examination), you may use a pocket calculator (graphing calculators are not allowed). In the quiz room, each desk is provided with a sheet of formulae. A copy of this sheet will be included in the final exam, and is also included on the last 9
page of the Study Guide before the Lab Manual.

No material in the form of quizzes or papers may be taken from the Quiz Room and all paper used when writing a quiz must be turned in. You should visit the quiz room during the first week of the semester to see how the system operates.

As shown on page 5, there are 5 quizzes to be completed. There is no quiz on Study Guide 18, although there will be at least 2 questions on Study Guide 18 on the final examination. A sample quiz for each Study Guide is available on D2L.

Self-paced study is a new experience for most students. At best, it permits you to work ahead in physics early in the semester, freeing study time for other courses during heavy weeks. At worst, there is a temptation to leave things too late. To help pace students, deadlines are placed on quizzes.

Graphing Review

Some quizzes will require you to sketch graphs of simple functions, or to plot graphs of data. To prepare for this graphing, you should work through the computer tutorial - Graphing Simple Functions (available via D2L) and also read the “Graphing Hints” at the beginning of the lab experiments section in the Study Guide and Lab Manual.


There are 5 experiments to be done, associated with Study Guide units 10-11, 12, 13, 14 and 17 (see above). Four of these experiments are done in the lab room (MacN 304A) and they may be performed in any order (see D2L for hours of operation). The laboratory operates as an open lab, but you must reserve a 1.5 hour. lab session by signing up on-line via D2L. This is sufficient time to complete the entire lab (data and calculations). It is mandatory to sign-up for labs early in the semester and create your own lab schedule, print out a copy and staple it inside your lab manual as proof of your scheduled lab. There is also one computer simulation (Experiment 17) which is done on D2L (see login procedure above).

Once your lab is complete (data and calculations) you must have the laboratory instructor sign and stamp your Lab. You will tear off the signed/sealed portion and take it to the quiz room when making your first attempt at related quiz. Notice that the lab instructor does not assign a mark to your lab work, although he/she may refuse to accept it if he/she judges the work to be inadequate. Your understanding of the material is tested in the quiz on the associated Study Guide.
You are encouraged to visit the lab early in the semester in order to see how it operates.

Course and University Policies

Academic Misconduct

The University of Guelph takes a serious view of academic misconduct and will severely penalize students, faculty and staff who are found guilty of offences associated with misappropriation of others' work, misrepresentation of personal performance and fraud, improper access to scholarly resources, and obstructing others in pursuit of their academic endeavors. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection.

Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor. Each student is assumed to be familiar with the regulations surrounding academic misconducts, as spelled out in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Accuracy of Records

It is your responsibility to use D2L to check that your marks are recorded correctly. Please check your record often and report any discrepancies immediately to the Quiz Room Supervisor. As an aid, a ‘Personal Record Form’ is provided on D2L. You should use this form to record your quiz attempts, etc., and from time to time check the computer record against your personal record.


If you are away for brief periods of time due to medical, psychological or compassionate reasons, see or email the Quiz Room Supervisor immediately (email address on page 2) about consideration of extension of deadlines, etc. (Do not wait until the end of the semester to submit your documentation). For an extended illness, etc. (> 1 week), you should obtain a medical certificate or similar documentation and consult the Quiz Room Supervisor or the instructor. If you miss the final examination because of illness or for other reasons, consult regulations in the current Undergraduate Calendar.

Course Notices

From time to time, notices pertaining to the course will be posted on D2L, given in lectures and/or posted by the Quiz Room door or inside the quiz room (SSC1101A). You should check this door and room weekly for notices and reminders, etc. It is your responsibility to keep yourself informed regarding these special announcements.

E-mail Communication

As per university regulations, all students are required to check their <> e-mail account regularly: e-mail is the official route of communication between the University and its students.

Drop Date

The last date to drop one-semester courses, without academic penalty, is Friday, October 31. For regulations and procedures for Dropping Courses, see the Undergraduate Calendar.


The University of Guelph is committed to creating a barrier-free environment. Providing services for students is a shared responsibility among students, faculty and administrators. This relationship is based on respect of individual rights, the dignity of the individual and the University community's shared commitment to an open and supportive learning environment. Students requiring service or accommodation, whether due to an identified, ongoing disability or a short-term disability should contact the Centre for Students with Disabilities (soon to be re-named Student Accessibility Services) as soon as possible.
For more information, contact CSD at 519-824-4120 ext. 56208 or email or see the website:

Recording of Materials

Presentations which are made in relation to course work—including lectures—cannot be recorded or copied without the permission of the presenter, whether the instructor, a classmate or guest lecturer.

Material recorded with permission is restricted to use for that course unless further permission is granted.

Final Examination Conflicts

The University’s policy regarding examination conflicts, as stated in the Undergraduate Calendar, is as follows: “Students who drop and add courses are required to consult the examination timetable in order to avoid conflicts in examination times. Written approval must be obtained from the dean or director and the instructor-in-charge of the course to register in courses that have conflicting examination times.”

Course Evaluation

The Department of Physics requires student assessment of all courses taught by the Department. These assessments provide essential feedback to faculty on their teaching by identifying both strengths and possible areas of improvement. In addition, annual student assessment of teaching provides part of the information used by the Department Tenure and Promotion Committee in evaluating the faculty member's contribution in the area of teaching.

The Department's teaching evaluation questionnaire invites student response both through numerically quantifiable data, and written student comments. In conformity with University of Guelph Faculty Policy, the Department Tenure and Promotions Committee only considers comments signed by students (choosing "I agree" in question 14). Your instructor will see all signed and unsigned comments after final grades are submitted. Written student comments may also be used in support of a nomination for internal and external teaching awards.

NOTE: No information will be passed on to the instructor until after the final grades have been submitted.