Friday, August 1, 2008

A Dozen of My Favorite New Homework Problems

The 4th Edition of Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology contains 44% more homework problems than did the 3rd Edition. What are some of these new problems about? Here are a dozen of my favorites:

Chapter 1, Problem 25: Poisson's ratio

Chapter 4, Problem 22: MRI Diffusion Tensor Imaging

Chapter 4, Problem 23: The effect of buffers on the intracellular diffusion of calcium

Chapter 5, Problem 6: Osmotic pressure in articular cartilage

Chapter 5, Problem 17: Countercurrent heat exchangers

Chapter 7, Problem 30: Clark and Plonsey's calculation of the intracellular and extracellular potential of a nerve axon

Chapter 8, Problem 17: The magnetic field produced by a planar action potential wave front in anisotropic cardiac tissue

Chapter 9, Problem 9: An analytical solution to the nonlinear Poisson-Boltzmann equation

Chapter 10, Problem 37: Ventricular fibrillation of the heart, chaos, and action potential restitution

Chapter 10, Problem 39: A cellular automata model for cardiac arrhythmias

Chapter 12, Problem 23: Analytical example of how to calculate an image from its projection using the method of reconstruction by Fourier transform

Chapter 18, Problem 18: The "magic angle" in MRI

Many of these twelve problems are more difficult than average for our book, but undergraduate physics majors should be able to handle them all. Often we introduce new concepts in the problems. For instance, Poisson's ratio is never discussed in the text, but other biomechanics topics are, and Problem 25 of Chapter 1 introduces Poisson's ratio by relating it to concepts we introduced previously.

If you want to get the most out of the 4th Edition of Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology, work the problems. Otherwise, you may miss some new and fascinating applications of physics to the biomedical sciences.

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