A pound of flesh — a puzzle about estimates, energy, and life

In my “Physics of Energy and the Environment” class [1], we try to construct estimates of how much energy is required by various aspects of modern civilization. Transportation is the main focus — it’s important, energetically costly, and the physics underlying it can be grasped by non-science-major undergrads in a few weeks [2]. Teaching this … Continue reading A pound of flesh — a puzzle about estimates, energy, and life

Election day biophysics

(A short election day post!) I always start off my “biophysics for non-science majors” class with an interesting picture. Today, since it’s election day, I tried to think of something that links politics and science and came up with these photos that I took at the Library of Congress this past summer, where there’s a … Continue reading Election day biophysics

Recap of a graduate biophysics course — Part II

I’ll continue describing a graduate biophysics course I taught in Spring 2015. In Part I, I wrote about the topics we covered. Here, I’ll focus on the structure of the course — books, assignments, in-class activities, and the students’ final project — and note what worked and didn’t work. (What didn’t work: popsicle sticks.) Click … Continue reading Recap of a graduate biophysics course — Part II