taught plausibly in a one-year course. Topics have been sacrificed from within the customary one-year physics curriculum. These include all aspects of magnetism, inductance, Maxwell’s Equations, angular momentum, and special relativity. Some time might be saved if chemistry and physics courses are appropriately coordinated, though such cooperation is not natural to university faculties. Similarly, if the mathematics courses can teach complex numbers early, they could be made use of within the physics curriculum for x-ray structure determinations, oscillations, resonance, and stability analysis. Also a major effort must be made to include simple biological examples in the problem sets.
Every attempt should be made to win acceptance of such a new physics course by non-biological majors, in addition to the various possible biomajors (biology, biochemistry, molecular biology). In an ideal world, a freshman could take either the traditional general physics course or the biology-oriented physics course (B-Physics) as her or his physics requirement. The two courses should be equally challenging and equally based on mathematics, but differ in emphasis. Many majors should be encouraged to accept the B-Physics course as an alternative, including chemistry, math, computer science, and engineering majors. Having several majors accept one course as meeting requirements avoids having students become trapped in a particular major because they have chosen a particular introductory physics course. Also, by giving students flexibility in their curriculum, they will be encouraged to explore opportunities they otherwise might not explore. While a few premeds may appropriately take the B-physics course, its emphasis on physical understandings at the molecular level, and the mathematical sophistication are inappropriate for general premeds. At most universities, an effort to accommodate premeds in the same course would require a substantial dilution of the material presented. While much can be said in favor of redesigning physics courses for premeds, this course is not the appropriate vehicle.
While a conventional laboratory might be adequate, it seems more sensible to consider fundamental changes in laboratory as well as course materials. One possible rationale is based on the usual kind of relationship between course and laboratory physics. A second possible rationale is based on using the laboratory experience to teach principles of engineering as they apply to biology. Sample sets of laboratories for each rationale are sketched in the following two sections. The purpose of the lab would be to reinforce lecture concepts, introduce new concepts particularly suitable to laboratory exploration, illustrate physical principles, and/or experience bio-