PHYS 114/154 & PHYS 115/155 Biophysics Essay

This guide is designed to help you find resources for the biophysics essay

Biophysics essay

Essay 1

Your task is to research and find a biological application of ideas you have learned in PHYS& 114/154 and PHYS& 115/155 and describe it in your own words. There is more guidance below.

One field rich in such topics is the field of bio-mechanics. What makes cheetahs, horses and greyhounds fast runners? There are many biological adaptations that enable them to achieve high running speeds. One or two examples of such adaptations may be found in the shape, structure and the relative lengths of major bones in their legs. Have you noticed how these animals all have somewhat similar body structure?  How does the construction of their limbs, the attachment of muscles to the limb, allow these animals to attain great speeds? What other adaptations help them sustain the high speeds?

What causes a gorilla to have greater arm strength than a human but by the same token makes it less graceful? Ever seen a gorilla do a ballet?

You can also use examples from sports medicine, or sports equipment that have some direct connection to human biology.

Whatever you pick please go a little deeper into the topic than a simple surface-level description. Of course some of these topics are still the subject of current research. So how would you know what level of depth to use? Pretend that you are sitting across the table and you are explaining your ideas related to this essay to one of your classmates. You have to say enough to make them understand without confusing them. You can assume that they all your classmates have a perfect understanding of all the concepts that we have covered in PHYS& 114/154 and PHYS& 115/155. Focus mainly on the physical aspects such as forces generated, structure of body parts etc. Biological or chemical aspects may be addressed peripherally.

A figure or a picture will help explain your idea better. A calculation will often make the entire process shorter because of the efficiency offered by the language of mathematics. The calculation or the description will have to use formulas or concepts you learned in PHYS& 114/154 and/or PHYS& 115/155.

Although you can do an internet search, that should not be your sole method of research. Go to the library. Look up periodicals, text books, books of general interest written by professionals. You have to use more than one source in your essay. One of these can be a reference to a source on the web. More web references will be allowed if they are links to professional research – please see me if you wish to include multiple web-based references.

Your essay should not exceed two pages including nominally sized figures and references.

Please see me if you have any questions about the expectations for the assignment, or the topic that you choose.

Other Resources:

  • GRC library staff can provide help with research and references.
  • The Writing Center can help you write a better essay.