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Physics in Biology

I taught this course once in 2014, and then from 2022-2024.

Overview: This course is ultimately about developing an intuition of what it is like to exist at very small length scales (molecular to cellular), and an understanding of how living systems can create ordered structures, all the way down to the molecular scale, while being subject to incessant thermal motion. The course, initially developed by my colleagues Profs. Harden and Pelling, is organized into 3 parts. First (the bulk of the course), through a series of simple thought experiments we discover the important physics that govern the life of a cell. In this section we will work out what it must actually “feel” like to be a cell or a small biomolecule. We will discuss the importance of randomness and entropy, weird properties of water at small scales, what it’s like to be crushed by Brownian motion, random walks and diffusion, “creeping” behaviour, and stretching, pulling and squashing molecules, cells and biomaterials. In the second part, we will look at some of the modern applications of biophysics in cell biology, single-molecule biophysics and biosensing (including, DNA sequencing technologies and nanopores) and why these are so important for many research fields and in today’s job market. We’ll also hear from several leading experts at uOttawa who are the innovators in these fields at the interface of physics, chemistry and biology. We will go on a tour of our biophysics labs on the 4th floor of the STEM Complex to see some of these technologies up close and operational.

Course related material can be found on the uOttawa BrightSpace. 2

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Introduction to circuit theory and electronics / Introduction à la théorie des circuits et à l'électronique.

I created this course and I have been teaching it since 2014 in both French and English..

Overview: Review of basic circuit elements. Kirchhoff’s laws and analysis techniques: nodal, mesh, Thévenin and Norton equivalents, maximum power transfer theorem. Basic concepts of semiconductor physics, diodes, bipolar and field effect transistors. Operational amplifiers and their application, signal conversion. RC, RL and RLC circuits, alternating current circuit analysis, phasors, frequency response, Bode plots, filters. Noise sources, grounding problems, impedance mismatch.

Laboratory Experiments: The main emphasis of this course will be on the laboratory sessions. There will be 6, 3h laboratory experiments throughout the semester.  

Course Structure: There will be a single 80 minutes lecture per week and six 3-hour laboratory sessions throughout the semester. The 6 mandatory laboratory sessions are distributed throughout the semester, so you will not have labs every week.

Course related material can be found on the uOttawa BrightSpace

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Principes de physique II

J’ai enseigné ce cours 7 fois de 2012 à 2015, en 2018, puis 2020 et 2021. Je n’enseigne plus ce cours depuis 2022. 

Contenu du cours : Champ et potentiel électriques. Condensateurs. Courant électrique et circuits DC. Mouvement harmonique simple et ondes. Optique. Initiation à la physique moderne : physique atomique, modèle de Bohr, effet photoélectrique.

PHY1722 est un cours à l’intention des étudiants qui se destinent à l’étude des sciences de la vie. On présuppose que l’étudiant possède des connaissances de trigonométrie et d’algèbre. On fait appel à des éléments d’algèbre vectorielle et de calcul infinitésimal. Une heure de séances de problèmes est offerte avec le cours. Comprends un laboratoire de 3 heures alternant chaque semaine. Ce cours est la suite normale de PHY1721/1731.