The use of methods from the physical sciences to aid in the study of biological systems. Note that biophysics questions are only allowed if they are mainly about physics.

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21
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7answers
4k views

How do we see? Where do the photons disappear?

I know that the light is reflected from a object to my eyes, but I don't understand exactly how. The photons appear from the light source and disappear in my eye! Can someone explain the phenomenon of ...
0
votes
2answers
50 views

Loss of temperature of a sphere [on hold]

I am trying to get an intuition of whether it theoretically seems possible for a living cell (a yeast for example) to regulate its own temperature. Let's consider a spherical living cell which radius ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Are muscle cells electric dipoles?

I'm wondering how we can detect the electrical activity of a muscle cell. My initial thought on this question was that the membrane potential, around $\Delta V_{\text{membrane}} = -80mV$ across the ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Trapping time and site population

In thr article environment assisted quantum transport, the trapping time probability for the FMO complex, a measure of the energy transfer efficiency, is defined $2\kappa_3\int^\infty_0 dt\langle ...
2
votes
2answers
195 views

What would be walking speed in low gravity?

In $1g$ the average adult human walks 4-5 km in an hour. How fast would such a human walk in a low gravity environment such as on the Moon $(0.17g)$ or Titan $(0.14g)$? Let's ignore the effects of ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

How does the strength of gravity affect human walking speed? [closed]

Walking requires friction and gravity, would humans be able to walk faster in different strength gravitational field than that of earth's? What strength of gravity would allow an average human to ...
6
votes
1answer
520 views

Do human bodies give off a consistent but unique radiation/electromagnetic/energy signature?

Is there any facet of the energy emitted by a human body that is consistent and unique - like a fingerprint, but a signal that could be detected by a remote device?
2
votes
1answer
34 views

Definition of Sievert (Sv) unit - is it whole body mass?

I'm wondering about the definition of the Sievert (Sv) unit. It is J/Kg but is that Kg the mass of the whole body or just of the exposed body part? For instance, when a table says that an x-ray of a ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Will drinking ice cold water and eating cold food cause weight loss (over a period of time)? [closed]

A friend of mine has the idea that drinking cold water and eating cold food will assist them in losing weight. The core temperature of a human body is 37$^{\circ}$ C. If they drink water, at a ...
0
votes
4answers
124 views

Why do our ears pop?

Have you ever been on a train going through a tunnel or plane and your ears pop?I was wondering why this happens and I know it relates to pressure but don't know exactly the reason
-1
votes
1answer
49 views

Will I sunburn faster when driving compared to being parked?

I'm not sure if the same logic applies to light and rain when comparing running/driving with a stagnant situation. See, e.g. Why does driving faster make my windshield catch more rain? Suppose I have ...
1
vote
0answers
44 views

Effects of light wavelength on the Hamiltonian of the FMO complex

Recently, I have been interested in the energy transfer within the FMO complex. I was wondering, how could the wavelength of the light that excites the complex affect the energy transfer efficiency. ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

Why am I not hearing frequencies of range 14 kHz-15 kHz? [closed]

Recently, a Radio Station (Red FM, 93.5) started a campaign called "RED FM bajao Machar Bhagao" (English: Play RED FM, scare away mosquitoes). In this, they claim to be broadcasting some frequencies ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do people with bigger hands/wrists have bigger torque advantages in arm wrestling?

I have arm wrestled people with less strength than me who win simply because they have thicker wrists, or larger hands. It has nary to do with having better technique either, because their wrist size ...
0
votes
3answers
86 views

Can higher level animals have lower entropy than the food they consume?

If there is plant source of energy 100Cal and an animal source of energy 100Cal for a human being, where the animal derived that energy from a similar plant source, can we say for sure that the animal ...
3
votes
3answers
184 views

Size of black hole so large that I could pass event horizon without dying from tidal forces?

Were I to fall towards a typical black hole, the tidal forces would rip me apart well before I got to the event horizon. However, if a black hole were big enough, I could enter the event horizon ...
1
vote
1answer
298 views

Remote EEG detection / reading

I recently noted that Philips, Accenture, and Emotive grouped together to create a proof of concept that would assist ALS patients to gain greater control of their lives through brain, voice, and eye ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Do eyeballs exhibit chromatic aberration?

Fairly straightforward question. If not, why not? I suspect that if they do, it is not perceived due to the regions of highest dispersion being in one's region of lowest visual acuity.
-5
votes
3answers
830 views

What will happen to a human if he/she falls down into particle accelerator? [closed]

I saw a TV series The Flash which is about physics fiction. What happens if a human comes into contact with a bombardment of particles in a particle accelerator?
4
votes
1answer
59 views

What, if anything, makes primary colours distinct?

I've recently become interested in the primary colours; red, green and blue. In my capacity as a computer programmer I'm well aware of how these colours are used practically, and of how varying ...
1
vote
2answers
72 views

What is the highest possible space dive free fall?

The world record is 136k feet but how high could it be without burning up. I know someone asked if u could jump from ISS which wouldn't be a free fall. Using any means of transportation. The record ...
12
votes
2answers
681 views

Does energy expenditure require movement? [duplicate]

In every formula I've seen that involves energy, I've also seen a distance element. Is there nothing that doesn't involve movement? For instance if I hold my arm out parallel to the ground with a ...
19
votes
2answers
5k views

How does space affect the human body (no space suit, no space craft)

How does "outer space" affect the human body? Some movies show it as the body exploding, imploding or even freezing solid. I know space is essentially a vacuum with 0 pressure and the dispersion of ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

What is the difference physiologically between running uphill vs. downhill? [closed]

In pure potential energy terms a person needs positive energy (work) to lift their body to a higher gravitational potential. When they turn around and run back down, the same transaction is reversed ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Does staring at a bright LED light damage your eyes?

According to this article it seems that it is the UV part of the spectrum from the Sun that causes damage to the eye. Would it therefore be "safe" to observe directly an equivalent energy density LED ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Chromatic aberration in human eye [duplicate]

A lens focuses the different colours of white light at different points. Since our eye has a convex lens there should also be such an aberration but we see objects clearly with normal eye. I want to ...
0
votes
1answer
153 views

What would happen to the human body if we went almost at the speed of light? [duplicate]

If we were to travel almost at $299\,792\,458~m/s$, or the speed of light, what would happen to the human body? Would the human body stay the same or would there be consequences that would harm the ...
6
votes
0answers
243 views

Does this method of predicting the ratio of translational diffusion coefficients for a sphere and a sheet, work?

Imagine that I have a spherical particle of molecular weight $M$, volume $V$, and some experimentally observed center-of-mobility translational diffusion coefficient $D_{sphere}$ in water. I take ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Can microwaves affect WiFi?

I listen to the radio via my iPad with wifi. When I switch the microwave oven on, the radio cuts out. When the microwave oven is finished, the radio comes back on. (This is 100% reproducible!) So - ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

My microwave oven disrupts my bluetooth connection even when I'm 12ft away. Should I be worried? [duplicate]

I often wear bluetooth headphones that connect to my mobile phone. I work on my laptop in my dining room approx. 12ft away from the microwave oven and my mobile phone is usually in my pocket; ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

What happens when a bird lands on a power line?

I know that when a bird is sitting on a high-voltage power line, virtually no current flows through the bird because there is (almost) no voltage drop between its legs, the two points are ...
-3
votes
3answers
89 views

If radiation didn't exist, would everything live longer? [closed]

I recently noticed that dying of old age is similar to a death by radiation - hair loss, weakened immune system etc. and I was wondering - Does background radiation limit our lifespan, or that of any ...
-1
votes
2answers
207 views

Why do we (3 dimensional creatures) see in 2 spatial dimensions? [closed]

Why do us humans, as 3-dimensional (in terms of space) creatures, see everything in 2 dimensions? Is it because the surface of every 3-dimensional object is 2 dimensional? Or because light enters our ...
9
votes
3answers
11k views

Does the human body have a resonant frequency? If so, how strong is it?

Inspired by this question on Music beta SE, I'm wondering if the human body has a strong resonant frequency. I guess the fact that it's largely a bag of jelly would add a lot of damping to the system, ...
0
votes
4answers
157 views

Is the hard problem of consciousness an obstacle to finding a physical theory of everything? Why or why not?

I do not understand how, without understanding the mind and how (physical) neural interactions within the brain give rise to consciousness, one can have a definitive theory of everything. There will ...
2
votes
0answers
47 views

Understanding quantum coherence in biological processes (Magnetoreception)

Moved my questions to the top. Context below. Why is the strength of the electric field and the coupling constant being compared to the inverse coherence time? What is the inverse coherence time? Is ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Kettlebell squats center of mass

I should, first of all, state that I have very limited knowledge of physics but as a fitness enthusiast the following question has puzzled me for a while. When I do squats on the gym holding a ...
56
votes
3answers
70k views

Why can Hiroshima be inhabited when Chernobyl cannot?

There was an atomic bomb dropped in Hiroshima, but today there are residents in Hiroshima. However, in Chernobyl, where there was a nuclear reactor meltdown, there are no residents living today (or ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

How long would it take for a smelly object to evaporate?

This question is a follow on from this deleted one: http://physics.stackexchange.com/q/177894/26076 as I was writing what I thought to be a valid physics answer to it. Version 1 of this question ...
0
votes
2answers
40 views

How can plants rooted on the ground become charged?

According to a quote on the physics forum "Plants are usually charged negatively and emit weak electric fields." Reference However this seems to contradict the fact that plants are grounded and any ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

Why does the sky look blue rather than violet? [duplicate]

Sky looks blue because because our eyes are sensitive to blue colour. But when viewed through a camera why don't we see violet of the sky even though we can see violet colour of other pictures taken ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

Singing for physicists: How to resonate by body cavities with my voice?

My body has various cavities, such as my throat, mouth, chest, and nose. This cavities have resonant frequencies. I also have a voice box, which creates sound. How do I create sounds at the resonant ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Factors affecting pain of static electricity shock

Referring to How to avoid getting shocked by static electricity?, someone I knew suffered much pain from static electric shocks when touching door knobs or car doors where I didn't feel anything doing ...
16
votes
6answers
12k views

Google interview riddle and scaling arguments

I am puzzled by a riddle to which I have been told the answer and I have loads of difficulties to believe in the result. The riddle goes as follows: "imagine you are shrunk to the size of a coin ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is pale coloured skin said to absorb more UV?

Many resources state that light skin/pale skin absorbs more UV than dark-colour skin. Doesn't black absorb maximum radiation? For an example, see this article: Natural selection therefore ...
1
vote
0answers
107 views

Visualise the sound intensity

I'm studying Biophysics and my current subject is sound. One of the properties of sound is intensity. From my notes I can see the following definition: Intensity Formula is: $(I = w*m^{-2})$ or $(I = ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Physics involved in the DNA-structure discovery

In 1962 Francis Crick, James Dewey Watson and Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins won the Nobel Prize: For their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for ...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

Laser tattoo removal

I would like to know if someone could please briefly explain how laser technology of tattoo removal works? And second, could there possibly be any dangers to cells, specially on bones?
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Why do we lift our feet when we walk?

I'm not sure if this is a good question for here- albeit if I asked it somewhere else I'd want the physical argument. Why do we lift our feet when we walk, as opposed to doing something like ...