Introduction to Biophysics A


Biophysics is an interdisciplinary area that applies concepts, methods and theories traditionally used in physics in the interpretation of biological phenomena.

Being an introductory course to the subject, it is intended with this course that the student acquires the basic concepts of physics, in the description and interpretation of Nature.

After successfully attending this course, the student should be able to understand and interpret the mechanisms of living matter through the instruments and mechanisms of physics analysis.

The mathematical methods needed to describe the program''''s phenomena must have already been acquired, however they will be discussed and revised throughout the course.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Jorge Felizardo Dias Cunha Machado


Weekly - 5

Total - 70

Teaching language



Available soon


  • Apontamentos da unidade curricular fornecidos pelo docente.
  • Urone, Paul Peter, and Roger Hinrichs. "College Physics (OpenStax)." (2012).
  • Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics, Ninth Edition Raymond A. Serway and John W. Jewett, Jr.
  • Ahlborn, Boye K. Zoological physics: Quantitative models of body design, actions, and physical limitations of animals. Springer Science & Business Media, 2006.

Teaching method

The discipline is organized into theoretical classes, in which the course material will be presented, including application examples, and practical classes, in which concrete problems are discussed with the students.

Evaluation method

1 Elements of the evaluation

1.1. First-time students:

Problem solving (project-type assessment) related to subjects in theoretical-practical classes. Problems are solved, at home and in groups of 3. Each problem will be indicated the week before the delivery time takes place. 3 problem sheets will be provided. Every problem sheet is rated from 0.0 to 20.0. To the three sheets of problems an average grade will be calculated, Np, between 0.0 and 20.0 (10% of the final grade of first enrollment students) with an indication of tenths.

Written and oral presentation of a work related to a theme (seminar-type evaluation) carried out in a group (3 students/group). The themes will be assigned according to the choice/assignment record. Written presentations must be delivered by 23:59 on 02/06 (by email to the head of the curricular unit) and oral presentations scheduled later within the periods indicated in the planning table published in Clip/moodle. The presentation (written and oral part) is assigned a grade, Nap, between 0.0 and 20.0 values (30% of the final grade of first enrollment students) with an indication of tenths.

1.2. First enrollment students and students who have already been enrolled in previous years

Theoretical-practical evaluation can be obtained in tests or in an appeal exam. Represents 60% of the final grade for first-time students and 100% of the final grade for the rest).

There will be 2  tests (theoretical-practical evaluation), marked in the Clip. Each test is assigned a score of between 0.0 and 20.0 values. The grade for each test is given to tenths and the Nt grade is the average of the grades obtained in the 2 tests.

The appeal exam will last 2 hours. The exam grade, Ne, is given to tenths on a scale of 0.0 to 20.0 values.

2. Obtaining attendance

Only students with frequent attendance can pass the course.

2.1. First enrollment students

First-time students will receive attendance if they meet all of the following criteria:
- Attendance at least 2/3 of the TP classes.
Note, Np ≥ 9.5.
Note, Nap ≥ 9.5.

2.2. Students who have already enrolled in previous years
Students who obtained attendance in 2021/2022 or in 2022/2023 maintain the attendance obtained and the classifications Np (10% of weight in the final grade) and Nap (30% of weight in the final grade). Students who were enrolled in the discipline in years prior to 2021/2022 are considered to have attendance without an associated grade. Students with attendance do not have to deliver  the weekly problems or present the seminar-type.

3. Approval

To pass the course it is necessary to have information “frequently” and to have at least 9.5 in all evaluation components. The final grade of the approved students, NF, will have a value between 10 and 20 and will be obtained by rounding the results of the following calculations to the units:

3.1. Students who first enrolled and students with attendance obtained in 2021/2022 or 2022/2023

NF=Np*0.1+Nap*0.3+Nt*0.6 or NF=Np*0.1+Nap*0.3+Ne*0.6

3.2. Students who were already enrolled in years prior to 2021/2022

NF=Nt or NF=Ne

Subject matter

1 - Allometry

2 - Electricity

3 - Magnetism

4 - Oscillations and waves

5 - Wave optics

6 - Geometric Optics

7 - Fluids / Transport Phenomena


Programs where the course is taught: