Physics in Biology and Medicine

Physics in Biology and Medicine, 4th Edition

Physics in Biology and Medicine, 4th Edition,Paul Davidovits,ISBN9780123865137


Academic Press




229 X 152

Relate basic physics to medicine, physiology and other applied health fields.

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Key Features

  • Provides practical techniques for applying knowledge of physics to the study of living systems
  • Presents material in a straight forward manner requiring very little background in physics or biology
  • Includes many figures, examples and illustrative problems and appendices which provide convenient access to the most important concepts of mechanics, electricity, and optics in the body


The fourth edition of Physics for Biology and Medicine, covers topics in physics as they apply to the life sciences, specifically medicine, physiology, nursing and other applied health fields. This concise introductory paperback surveys and relates basic physics to living systems, encompassing solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, sound, electricity, optics, and atomic and nuclear physics. The new edition has been updated with a discussion of atomic force microscopy, use of lasers in medical diagnostics and the applications of nanotechnology in biology and medicine.

Applied health workers, even with little formal background in physics, will learn how biological systems can be analyzed quantitatively, how physical and engineering analysis techniques have helped advance the life sciences, and also the limits of quantitative analysis as applied to living systems. End-of-chapter exercises and extensive reference sections add to the book’s value in academic and clinical settings.


Premed students, Doctors, nurses, physiologists, or other applied health workers, and other individuals who wish to understand the nature of the mechanics of our bodies

Paul Davidovits

Paul Davidovits, Professor of Chemistry at Boston College, was co-awarded the prestigious R.W. Wood prize from the Optical Society of America for his seminal work in optics. His contribution was foundational in the field of confocal microscopy, which allows engineers and biologists to produce optical sections through 3D objects such as semiconductor circuits, living tissues, or a single cell. Dr. Davidovits earned his doctorate, masters, and undergraduate degrees from Columbia University. Prior to his appointment at Boston College, he was a faculty member at Yale University. He has published more than 150 papers in physical chemistry and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for Advancement of Science. The second edition of Physics in Biology and Medicine received the Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award in the Discipline of the Natural Sciences.

Affiliations and Expertise

Boston College, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Physics in Biology and Medicine, 4th Edition

Chapter 1: Static Forces
Chapter 2: Friction
Chapter 3: Translational Motion
Chapter 4: Angular Motion
Chapter 5: Elasticity and Strength of Materials
Chapter 6: Insect Flight
Chapter 7: Fluids
Chapter 8: The Motion of Fluids
Chapter 9: Heat and Kinetic Theory
Chapter 10: Thermodynamics
Chapter 11: Heat and Life
Chapter 12: Waves and Sound
Chapter 13: Electricity
Chapter 14: Electrical Technology
Chapter 15: Optics
Chapter 16: Atomic Physics
Chapter 17: Nuclear Physics
Chapter 18: Nanotechnology in Biology and Medicine
Appendix A: Basic Concepts in Mechanics
Appendix B: Review of Electricity
Appendix C: Review of Optics
Answers to Numerical Exercises
Note on the Instructor's Solution Manual

Quotes and reviews

"The text provides clear descriptions of medical devices and techniques such as MRI, CAT scan and cochlear implant. It discusses biological systems that can be analyzed quantitatively and shows how advances in the life sciences have been aided by the knowledge of physical or engineering analysis techniques."--Anticancer Research, August 2013

Reviews from the 2e:

"This is a book you should consider if you are teaching the one-semester premed course. This text could be used in two ways: 1) as a text for a one-term course in the physics of the body (without calculus) for non-physics majors in premed or allied health programs, or 2) as a supplementary text for the introductory physics course, particularly for premed students."--Russell Hobbie, University of Minnesota
"There is certainly a viable market (for this book), if not as a stand-alone physics text, as a collection of problems, examples, and discussions at the boundary between physics and biology and medicine. It is very well written; it is certainly accurate; and it is pretty complete."--David Cinabro, Wayne State University

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