Physics for Biomedicine

University of Melbourne

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Physics for Biomedicine

  • Host University

    University of Melbourne

  • Location

    Melbourne, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Biochemistry, Biomedical Sciences, Physics

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    MAST10012 Introduction to Mathematics

    Assumed knowledge: Some knowledge of physics.

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

    12.5
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    This subject will develop students' appreciation of the importance of physical principles to biomedicine as well as their understanding of the principles underpinning human structure and function, medical diagnostics and therapeutics.
    The subject provides an introduction to:
    Mechanics: in the context of human and animal movement (introduction to Newton's laws of motion, energy transfer and transformation).

    • Waves: the basis of modern physics including lasers;
    • Fluids: blood flow, respiration (pressure in fluids, fluid flow, viscosity);
    • Thermal physics: energy balance of living organisms (thermal energy, temperature, heating processes, first law of thermodynamics);
    • Electricity and magnetism: bioelectricity, nerve conduction, electrical safety (forces between electric charges, electric circuits, resistance, capacitance, magnetic forces);
    • Atomic physics and lasers: fluorescence imaging and spectroscopy (structure of the atom, photons, spectroscopy, interaction of light with matter);
    • Radiation: radiation safety, therapeutic uses of radiation (the atomic nucleus, isotopes, nuclear decay and radiation, physical and biological half-life, ionising radiation); and
    • Imaging: modern biomedical imaging (X-rays, CT-scans and angiography, ultrasound imaging, positron emission tomography).

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.