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Introduction to Biological Physics for the Health and Life Sciences, 2nd Edition




Introduction to Biological Physics for the Health and Life Sciences, 2nd Edition

Kirsten Franklin, Paul Muir, Terry Scott, Paul Yates

ISBN: 978-1-118-93449-4 February 2019 600 Pages


A thoroughly updated and extended new edition of this well-regarded introduction to the basic concepts of biological physics for students in the health and life sciences. 

Designed to provide a solid foundation in physics for students following health science courses, the text is divided into six sections: Mechanics, Solids and Fluids, Thermodynamics, Electricity and DC Circuits, Optics, and Radiation and Health. Filled with illustrative examples, Introduction to Biological Physics for the Health and Life Sciences, Second Edition features a wealth of concepts, diagrams, ideas and challenges, carefully selected to reference the biomedical sciences. Resources within the text include interspersed problems, objectives to guide learning, and descriptions of key concepts and equations, as well as further practice problems. 


  • Optical Instruments
  • Advanced Geometric Optics
  • Thermodynamic Processes
  • Heat Engines and Entropy
  • Thermodynamic Potentials

This comprehensive text offers an important resource for health and life science majors with little background in mathematics or physics. It is also an excellent reference for anyone wishing to gain a broad background in the subject.

Topics covered include:

  • Kinematics
  • Force and Newton’s Laws of Motion Energy
  • Waves Sound and Hearing
  • Elasticity
  • Fluid Dynamics Temperature and the Zeroth Law
  • Ideal Gases Phase and Temperature Change
  • Water Vapour
  • Thermodynamics and the Body Static Electricity
  •  Electric Force and Field           
  • Capacitance
  • Direct Currents and DC Circuits
  • The Eye and Vision Optical Instruments
  • Atoms and Atomic Physics                   
  • The Nucleus and Nuclear Physics
  • Ionising Radiation                                
  • Medical imaging
  • Magnetism and MRI


Instructor’s support material available through companion website,

Related Resources

I Mechanics 1

Chapter 1 Kinematics 3

Chapter 2 Force and Newton’s Laws of Motion 17

Chapter 3 Motion in a Circle 31

Chapter 4 Statics 37

Chapter 5 Energy 47

Chapter 6 Momentum 61

Chapter 7 Simple Harmonic Motion 69

Chapter 8 Waves 79

Chapter 9 Sound and Hearing 91

II Solids and Fluids 107

Chapter 10 Elasticity: Stress and Strain 109

Chapter 11 Pressure 119

Chapter 12 Buoyancy 133

Chapter 13 Surface Tension and Capillarity 141

Chapter 14 Fluid Dynamics of Non-viscous Fluids 149

Chapter 15 Fluid Dynamics of Viscous Fluids 159

Chapter 16 Molecular Transport Phenomena 165

III Thermodynamics 171

Chapter 17 Temperature and the Zeroth Law 173

Chapter 18 Ideal Gases 185

Chapter 19 Phase and Temperature Change 199

Chapter 20 Water Vapour and the Atmosphere 213

Chapter 21 Heat Transfer 227

Chapter 22 Thermodynamics and the Body 239

Chapter 23 Thermodynamic Processes in Ideal Gases 249

Chapter 24 Heat Engines and Entropy 263

Chapter 25 Energy Availability and Thermodynamic Potentials 279

IV Electricity and DC Circuits 293

Chapter 26 Static Electricity 295

Chapter 27 Electric Force and Electric Field 301

Chapter 28 Electrical Potential and Energy 311

Chapter 29 Capacitance 323

Chapter 30 Direct Currents and DC Circuits 333

Chapter 31 Time Behaviour of RC Circuits 351

V Optics 359

Chapter 32 The Nature of Light 361

Chapter 33 Geometric Optics 375

Chapter 34 The Eye and Vision 393

Chapter 35 Wave Optics 411

Chapter 36 Advanced Geometric Optics 429

Chapter 37 Optical Instruments 449

Chapter 38 Atoms and Atomic Physics 463

Chapter 39 The Nucleus and Nuclear Physics 475

Chapter 40 Production of Ionising Radiation 485

Chapter 41 Interactions of Ionising Radiation 499

Chapter 42 Biological Effects of Ionising Radiation 509

Chapter 43 Medical Imaging 519

Chapter 44 Magnetism and MRI 525

Appendices 550

Appendix A Physical Constants 551

Appendix B Basic Maths and Science Skills 553

Appendix C Answers to Odd Numbered Problems 565

Selected Further Reading 576

Index 579