Physics for Life Sciences

General Course Information

Course Director Name: Ms. Sharlene Beharry Course Lecturer Name(s): Ms. Sharlene Beharry

Course Director Contact Information: Course Lecturer(s) Contact Information:

Course Director Contact Information: 473 444 4175 Ext 3819; Course Lecturer(s) Contact Information: 473 444 4175 Ext 3819;

Course Director Office Hours:     Tuesdays  1 pm – 3 pm.  email for a meeting time

Course Lecturer(s) Office Hours:  Tuesdays  1 pm – 3 pm.  email for a meeting time

Course Management tool: To learn to use Sakai, the Course management tool, access the link

Course Curriculum Information

Course Objectives:

This course will introduce students over a period of one semester to many of the basic principles and concepts in Physics. It includes base and derived units, vectors and scalars, kinematics in one and two dimensions , dynamics, circular motion and gravitation, equilibrium, elasticity,  fluids and hydrostatics, fluid dynamics, vibration and waves, sound,   electrostatics, current electricity, magnetism, light and basic geometrical optics, heat , introductory atomic and nuclear physics.


At the end of PHYS 200 students are expected to 

  1. Understand the basic terms and laws of Physics.
  2. Apply the laws of Physics in the areas of Mechanics, Electricity, Magnetism, Waves, Optics, Acoustics, Heat and Atomic and Nuclear Physics.
  3. Apply Mathematics (non-calculus) in solving problems in Physics.
  4. Apply the basic concepts and laws to the life sciences.
  5. Use of laboratory experiments in understanding fundamental laws and concepts in Physics  

Program Outcomes Met by this Course (Pre -Med, Post Bac, Pre Vet)

PLO1           Apply the scientific process for conduction laboratory and diagnostic experiments testing hypothesis , interpreting data and communicating results.


Apply knowledge of the basic structures and fundamental processes of life at the molecular, cellular and organismal levels.


Apply knowledge of the structure and function of the human body to health issues.


Apply knowledge of the of the interaction of atoms, molecules and biochemical processes that define organic and inorganic matter.


Demonstrate effective communication of scientific knowledge.


Demonstrate problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Program Outcomes: Marine, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology (Honors) Program (MWC-PLO)  A student completing the Marine, Wildlife, and Conservation (Honors) program should be able to: 


KNOWLEDGE: Apply knowledge of the biological and physical components of life and use this knowledge to understand the interrelationships of organisms with each other and their physical environments. 


APPLICABILITY: Analyze key global ecological and conservation issues to promote long-term species viability and health of marine and terrestrial environments, with an emphasis on the Caribbean. 


RESEARCH: Apply scientific method, ecological and quantitative concepts, and technical skills to design and conduct novel field and laboratory experiments, while considering ethical and regulatory implications.


COMMUNICATION & CRITICAL THINKING: Use relevant scientific literature and demonstrate independent, critical thinking while communicating scientific knowledge effectively in different media.



Physical quantity, base quantities and units, derived quantities and units, Errors precision and accuracy


Scalar and vector quantities, addition and subtraction of vectors, resolution of vectors into components


Displacement, velocity, acceleration, linear uniformly accelerated motion, equations of motion and application, simple projectiles.


Forces, Newton’s Law of motion, Friction, linear momentum and collisions, work, power and energy,  


Angular velocity, centripetal acceleration, kinematics of circular motion, dynamics of circular motion, Newton’s law of gravitation, satellites and weightlessness


Principle of moments, conditions necessary for equilibrium, Elasticity, stress and strain and stability, Hooke’s law, Young’s modulus and fracture


States of matter, Density, Specific gravity, Pressure, Pressure in a liquid, Atmospheric Pressure,  Gauge Pressure, Pascal’s Principle, Pressure measurement, Aneroid and Mercury Barometers, Archimedes Principle


Streamline  and turbulent flow, Equations of continuity, Bernoulli’s  Equation, Surface Tension and Capillarity


Simple Harmonic motion, Damped harmonic motion, Forced vibrations and resonance, wave motion, Types of waves, reflection and refraction, diffraction and interference 


Characteristics of sound, Intensity and amplitude, dB scale, the human ear and its response to sound, vibrating columns, strings and resonance, quality of sound and noise, shock wave and sonic boom, introduction to ultrasonics in medicine


Electrostatics, Electric Charge,  History, The Electric Force (between two charges and a multiplicity of charges),  Coulomb’s Law, Electric Field, Methods of determining the Electric Field for simple situations , Charge density (line, surface, volume),  Dipole, Gauss’s Law with simple applications, Movement of charge in electric field, Electric Potential, Relation to Electric Field, Voltage, Electric Potential for simple situations, Capacitance, Capacitors in Series and Parallel, Dielectrics, Energy stored, The CRO, Applications of Electrostatics.


Definition of Electric current ,Definition at the microscopic level. Current density, Ohm’s Law, Resistivity, Resistances in series and parallel, Voltage sources, Voltmeters and Ammeters, Simple DC Electrical circuits, Kirchhoff’s Laws , Power Dissipated, Household Electricity. Alternating current (AC), Rms value , Peak to peak value, Impedance, Ohm’s Law for AC circuits, Impedance for pure resistance , inductance and capacitance, Phase between voltage and current, Phasors, Power dissipated , Charging and discharging capacitors, Series Resonance (R,L,C)


Some History, Why Magnetic Force cannot be defined as gravitational and electric force, Definition of Magnetic Force, The Magnetic Field, Force on a wire carrying a current, Force between two wires,  Gauss’s Law for Magnetic Field, Biot- Savarts Law, Ampere’s Law , Faraday’s Law, Magnetic Fields for simple structures, solenoid and electromagnets,  Transformer, Electric bell, Electric Motor and Generator, Loudspeaker, Mass spectrometer, Magnetic materials, Inductance


Temperature, thermometers, Temperature scales, Thermal  Equilibrium, Linear Expansion, Gas Laws and Absolute Temperature, Mechanical Equivalent of Heat,  Specific Heat, Calorimetry, Latent Heat, Heat Transfer, Greenhouse Effect, Global Warming.


Waves and Rays, Reflection, Refraction, Mirrors (plane, concave and convex), Thin Lenses  (convex and concave), Image formation, Wave effects, The Human Eye and Optical Defects, Accommodation, Introduction to and application of lasers


Blackbody radiation, Planck’s Quantum Hypothesis, Photon theory and Photoelectric Effect,  Bohr’s Model, Binding Energy, X rays, The atomic Nucleus, radioactivity, Half-life and rate of decay. 


Class assignments/ quizzes:       

  • Quiz # 1  [5%] 3rd February 2022
  • Quiz # 2 [5%] 3rd March  2022 
  • Quiz # 3  [5%] 7th April 2022
  • Physics Dairy  [10%] 22nd April 2022

The breakdown of the overall grade will be as follows:

  • Class Exams and assignments: 25% 
  • Midterm examination: 25% 
  • Laboratory work: 25% 
  • Final Exam: 25%


  1. Assignments submitted past deadline time and date will be subjected to a late mark penalty of minus 2% of the assignment weighting unless permission is granted by the instructor.   
  2. All assignments are to be submitted on Sakai in pdf format and not emailed to the instructor unless permission is granted.   

SAS Grading Scale Grades will be assigned as follows:

A  = 89.5% or better

B+ = 84.5 - 89.4%

B  = 79.5 - 84.4%

C+ = 74.5 - 79.4%

C = 69.5 - 74.4%

D = 64.5 - 69.4%

F = 64.4% or less 

Course Materials:

  1. Physics: Principles with Applications – Douglas C Giancoli 7th edition. Pearson.   
    Accessible via SGU Library in ProQuest
    ProQuest. 185734
  2. College Physics: A Strategic Approach – Knight, Jones and Field. 3rd edition. Pearson.  
    Accessible SGU Library in ProQuest
  3. Supplementary Readings
    1. Lecture Notes 
    2. Laboratory scripts 
    3. Internet resources
Tentative Course Schedule (dates are subjective to change)






Physical Quantities; base quantities and units; derived quantities; Errors and precision; Vectors and Scalars; addition, subtraction; resolution into components.

Lectures possible during lab period if free.



Kinematics in one and two dimensions: Displacement, velocity, linear uniform acceleration; equations of motion.

Simple projectiles

Lab 1



Dynamics: Forces; Newton’s Laws of motion; Friction; momentum and collisions; work, power; energy

Lab 2

Quiz #1: Thur 3rd Feb 2022



Circular motion and Gravitation: Angular velocity; centripetal acceleration; kinematics of circular motion; dynamics of circular motion; Newton’s Law of gravitation; satellites and weightlessness

Lab 3





Equilibrium and Elasticity: Principle of moments; conditions for equilibrium; Stability; Elasticity; Hooke’s Law; Stress and strain; Young’s modulus

Lab 4 



Vibration and waves; Simple Harmonic Motion; Waves; Types of waves; reflection; refraction; 

Lab 5




Diffraction and interference; sound; vibrating columns and strings; resonance; applications

Quiz #2: Thur 3rd Mar 2022



Midterm Examination





Electrostatics: Electric charge; Electric Force; Coulomb’s law; Electric field; Electric field lines. 

Electric Flux; Calculation of Electric Field; Gauss’s Law; Work;

Energy and Electric Potential; Capacitance

Lab 6



Current Electricity; Ohm’s law; Resistances in series and parallel; Energy stored; power; Simple DC circuits; Household Electricity; AC circuits

Lab 7   



Magnetism: The magnetic force; Magnetic Field; force on a wire; torque on a rectangular coil; Biot Savart law; Ampere’s law; applications to long straight wire; toroid and solenoid; Faraday’s Law; transformers

Lab 8



Light and Geometrical Optics: Waves and rays; Reflection; refraction; mirrors (plane; convex and concave); Thin lens (convex and concave); image formation; Human eye

Quiz #3: Thur 7th Apr



Heat and thermodynamics; Temperature; thermal equilibrium;

Linear expansion; specific heat and Calorimetry; latent heat; Introduction to atomic and Nuclear Physics

Lab 9 & 10




Introduction to fluids

Physics Dairy 

Fri 22nd Apr 2022 @ 12 noon





Final Exam


School of Arts and Sciences Master Syllabi — Info for All Sections

Plagiarism Policy

Academic Integrity

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

Plagiarism is regarded as a cardinal offense in academia because it constitutes theft of the work of someone else, which is then purported as the original work of the plagiarist. Plagiarism draws into disrepute the credibility of the Institution, its faculty, and students; therefore, it is not tolerated” (p. 48).

Plagiarism also includes the unintentional copying or false accreditation of work, so double check your assignments BEFORE you hand them in.

Be sure to do good, honest work, credit your sources and reference accordingly and adhere to the University’s Honor Code. Plagiarism and cheating will be dealt with very seriously following the university’s policies on Plagiarism as outlined in the Student Manual.

Your work may be subject to submission to plagiarism detection software, submission to this system means that your work automatically becomes part of that database and can be compared with the work of your classmates.

Attendance Requirement

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

Students are expected to attend all classes and or clinical rotations for which they have registered. Although attendance may not be recorded at every academic activity, attendance may be taken randomly. Students’ absence may adversely affect their academic status as specified in the grading policy. If absence from individual classes, examinations, and activities, or from the University itself is anticipated, or occurs spontaneously due to illness or other extenuating circumstances, proper notification procedures must be followed. A particular course may define additional policies regarding specific attendance or participation” (p. 9).

Examination Attendance

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

All matriculated students are expected to attend all assigned academic activities for each course currently registered. Medical excuses will be based on self-reporting by students. Students who feel they are too sick to take an examination or other required activity on a specific day must submit the online SAS medical excuse, which is available on Carenage. Students are only allowed two such excuses a year. Upon consultation with the Director of University Health Service, the third excuse will result in a mandatory medical leave of absence. The policies regarding make-up examinations are at the option of the Course Director” (p.46).

For additional specific examination policies and procedures, refer to the St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020), pages 31 through 37.

Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services Policy

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

A student with a disability or disabling condition that affects one or more major life activities, who would like to request an accommodation, must submit a completed application form and supporting documentation to the Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services (SAAS) located in the Dean of Students Office. It is highly recommended that students applying for accommodations do so at least one month before classes begin to allow for a more efficient and timely consideration of the request. If a fully completed application is not submitted in a timely fashion, an eligibility determination may not be made, and accommodations, where applicable, may not be granted prior to the commencement of classes and/or examinations” (p. 8).


It is the responsibility of the student to read and understand the policies, laws, rules and procedures that while they could affect your grade for a course, have not been specifically outlined in the course syllabus. These are contained in the St. George’s University Student Manual.