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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2answers
285 views

How much more “work” (or energy) is required for short people to hike uphill?

Let's assume Short Person is 5 feet tall and the Normal Person is 5 feet and 8 inches tall. Let's assume the uphill hike has steps with 1 foot height. How much more work or energy does this require ...
2
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4answers
242 views

Does Free Will Theorem imply that quantum mechanics plays crucial role in our brain’s functioning (consciousness)?

Does Free Will Theorem imply that quantum mechanics plays crucial role in our brain’s functioning (consciousness)? Is opposite statement of Free Will Theorem right: If elementary particles have a ...
0
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0answers
48 views

Deriving an upper limit to the information in a human brain

For this question I am presuming that the human brain works deterministically and all information in a human brain is, once you get down to the lowest level, stored through the arrangement and other ...
-1
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2answers
448 views

Space-time hospitality

Are there any reasons to assume that organic processes cannot arise in relatively flat spacetime environments? An argument for the existence of a critial value or window.
67
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8answers
7k views

Does quantum mechanics play a role in the brain?

I'm interested in whether the scale of processes that occur in the brain is small enough to be affected by quantum mechanics. For instance, we ignore quantum mechanics when we analyze a game of tennis ...
3
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1answer
116 views

How do snails avoid being cut while crawling over a razor blade? [closed]

This YouTube video shows a snail crawling over the edge of a razor blade without being harmed. The author claims that: To us, slug and snail slime is gooey and gross but the mucus is one of ...
2
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0answers
40 views

Stability of plants and buildings: the role of the xylem

Dicotyledon plants show a stem structure with many xylem tubes, hollow but with lignified (woody) walls. These are arranged as in the figure below, in a circle. Their roots, on the other hand, have ...
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0answers
21 views

Hydraulic conductivity and flow rate

I have several sources that have the following equation relating the change of volume in a cell to the hydraulic conductivity (permeability coefficient) $L$ and pressure differential $\Delta P$: $$ \...
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1answer
77 views

Can a high-watt laser's scattering light be damaging to the eyes? [closed]

Heyo, I recently purchased a S3 Arctic Class IV laser pointer. I bought the 3500mW. (In case that page expires, it's 445nm wavelength, 1.5mRad variant, NOHD is 279m, beam distance at 0.25 Lux 72km.) ...
9
votes
3answers
891 views

How is a human voice unique? [closed]

Well, I am quite new to concepts of vocal sounds. From the physics point of view I believe a sound has two basic parameters i.e, frequency and amplitude. Considering the end sound wave produced by ...
0
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4answers
530 views

Can we see sound with our eyes? [closed]

Is there a type of sound within our visual spectrum that we can see with our eyes?
0
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1answer
45 views

Change of energy into friction?

If I am pushing a car and it does not move, I am doing no mechanical work. However, I am changing the energy that was stored in my cells into heat energy (maybe sound energy if my hand slips off the ...
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8answers
14k views

Short of collision, can gravity itself kill you?

Imagine that you are falling into object with huge gravity (i.e. black hole) that does not have any atmosphere. The question is - before you hit the ground, can the gravity itself (which would be ...
1
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1answer
24 views

Is the range of frequency we hear dependent on the natural frequency of our ear?

Is the range of frequency we hear dependent on the natural frequency of our ear? (i guess the question is clear enough. Just writing to meet "quality standards".)
1
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1answer
25 views

What parameters could be considered to measure the coiling of a ring?

I want to draw a phase diagram to quantify the coiling of a ring inside my system and I was wondering what parameters could be use to precisely define how coiled the ring is. Currently I am modeling ...
1
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0answers
38 views

Why do the vines change their spinning direction? [closed]

Look at the vines holding onto the lattice. The "vine springs" change their spinning direction in the middle. Why? And how do they achieve this? (I notice that some vines fail to get in touch with ...
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4answers
22k views
1
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0answers
19 views

How does it takes to deadlift a sports car? [duplicate]

In the movie Furious 7, Dom lift a Lykan HyperSport with bare hands. Given that in reality, how strong it has to be to lift a Lykan HyperSport(1,380 kg), says to 40 cm in one rear end, and hold it ...
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1answer
67 views

If the Earth were a pool ball, could I feel mountains? [closed]

If the earth (12,742 km diameter) were scaled down to the size of a pool ball (61mm diameter), the mountain ranges would still exist, obviously. But would a typical human be able to feel those ...
0
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1answer
60 views

A sound that always seems to come from behind you

Many years ago I heard a radio broadcast featuring a beeping sound that always seemed to come from behind me. The announcer said that the sound would have this quality and it did, even when I turned ...
1
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1answer
68 views

Cesium-137 From Fukushima Meltdown

I've been reading up on the Fukushima nuclear meltdown and its effects it had on the environment. The iodine-131 initially released from the incident decayed after 8 days, but other isotopes such as ...
0
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1answer
48 views

Could we recognise if time was running at a different rate for one species than another? I.e a human and an ant

My question is quite simple if time ran at a different speed for smaller creatures, how would we be able to observe this or confirm by experiment?
0
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3answers
116 views

The second law of thermodynamics and life on Earth [closed]

The second law of thermodynamics says that order always decreases in a system. The appeareance of life seems to contradict that law, but if we invoke the Sun, everything faals into place again. But ...
1
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2answers
159 views

Does human body have a centre of mass?

According to this site, The center of mass of the human body depends on the gender and the position of the limbs. In a standing posture, it is typically about 10 cm lower than the navel, near the ...
1
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2answers
98 views

Safety of Polonium Isotope source

I saw a YouTube video by a guy demonstrating Geiger Counter use and one of his radioactive test sources was a disk with Polonium. He casually mentioned that this was the poison used to kill that ...
4
votes
4answers
500 views

Would a neutrino bomb do anything? Or can weak force kill you?

In a disreputable animated cartoon (I accidentally watch every episode of religiously), a mad scientist plans on killing all humans with a Neutrino bomb. From context, this is a bomb that produces a ...
2
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1answer
92 views

Why do we hear the square of the wave?

Assume we superpose two waves of frequencies $\omega_1, \omega_2$. Then what we get are beats. Adding the two sines gives us $$\psi = A\sin(\omega_1 t) + A\sin(\omega_2 t) = 2 \sin \left(\frac{\...
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2answers
87 views

Can you hear vibrations through your bones?

If we have a source, like a speaker, but with no sound and only the vibrations, and this vibrations were transported to a surface which you can put your elbows on it and then put your hands to your ...
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0answers
13 views

Height estimate by step profile?

With so many current apps in mobiles tracking number of steps based on analyzing the accelerometer's measurements in time during a walk, I was wondering the following: Would it be possible to ...
3
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0answers
100 views

Quantum computing with biological matter? [closed]

As a biologist with physics background I wonder whether there is a way to use biological matter to create quantum computers or at least to advance the field somewhat. Usually, my first feeling would ...
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votes
2answers
91 views

Will I die from a 50-foot fall? [closed]

Sorry if I didn't ask this in the right place, but... Will I die from a 50-foot fall? What are the chances of survival? I know this is more of a biology question or something, sorry :(
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Have cosmic rays and the CMB affected Earth's history?

Do cosmic rays and the cosmic microwave background carry with them enough energy to have a macroscopic effect on events on Earth? The most obvious example I can think of is by giving animals cancer. ...
0
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1answer
82 views

What happens to photons, electrons, etc [duplicate]

What happens to photons when they hit our eye? where do they end up? if they generate heat, why our eye don't get overheated? Similarly what happens to electrons when the light hits certain metals, ...
23
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
16
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2answers
4k views

Why can't the human voice produce a Shepard tone?

Audio of a shepard tone on youtube. So what is a Shepard tone? A Shepard tone, named after Roger Shepard, is a sound consisting of a superposition of sine waves separated by octaves. When ...
2
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1answer
118 views

Why do we see just one octave of light? [closed]

When one takes a look at the usual chart of EM spectrum one cannot help but notice that visible spectrum is slightly below one octave of frequencies; that is, the ratio between the highest and least ...
1
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2answers
8k views

Why does wet skin offer less resistance?

I know that water with salts is a good conductor-However wetting a hand only adds water to a not very conductive surface. How does water actually reduce the resistance of skin? The way I am seeing it ...
1
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2answers
63 views

The Balloon Model for Human Ventilation

The balloon model is often used to show how ventilation works in the human lungs. You pull on the diaphragm, expanding the volume of the container, and the balloon begins to fill up. My understanding (...
6
votes
2answers
995 views

How many frames can human eye see? [closed]

What's the limitation of our eyes? Can we differentiate 60fps from 120fps? Are new 144hz monitors just a marketing trick? Couldn't find any proper journals or studies about the matter.
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2answers
44k views

Effects of a very large magnetic field on the human body

Ever since reading about the NHMFL I have always wondered about this and asked several people without getting a good satisfactory answer. My question is, considering the simplest case let's say a ...
2
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0answers
109 views

What is the maximum magnetic field that a human body can withstand? [closed]

Are there limits to the exposure of human bodies to magnetic fields? What happens if we cross that limit? How to create such magnetic fields? Has this been tried out?
6
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0answers
100 views

How do proteins perform their function? [closed]

Let's, for example, take a ribosome. It is an enzyme that is in turn just a molecule that must follow the laws of physics. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it can be looked upon as a molecular machine ...
0
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1answer
45 views

Is there a pressure differential between the skin and any parts inside the human body? [closed]

Since most of the human body is never directly exposed to the atmosphere, is there a meaningful difference in pressure between any internal organs and the skin? If so, how do open wounds which ...
4
votes
2answers
162 views

What will happen to a human being exposed to Martian atmosphere?

Mark Watney, in the movie The Martian, says that, If the HAB breaches, I'm just gonna, kind of... implode. The corresponding novel, by Andy Weir, says he will explode (as pointed out by @...
0
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1answer
49 views

Why divide surface area to volume for strength in living beings? [duplicate]

As the title says, why divide surface area to volume for strength in living beings ? I mean why all surface area ? Shouldn't it be area touching the ground ? Thanks in advance! :)
1
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0answers
98 views

Why do our eyes only pick up electromagnetic radiation which has been classified as visible light?

My understanding: Electromagnetic radiation is carried via photons - which enter our eyes and activate receptors depending on the amount of energy the photons have when hitting them. At what point do ...
1
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2answers
136 views

What are good references for learning about Biophysics at graduate level?

I am graduating this year on both Physics and Mathematics and I want to pursue a career in research, more concretely I want to study Biophysics. I've been recommended Boal's Mechanics of the Cell and ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Literature on scientific achievements in physiological acoustics after Helmholtz [closed]

I'm greatly interested in theoretical/mathematical/physiological aspects of music and the corresponding acoustics. As everyone knows, the Greek already discovered that consonant sounds seem to ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

Soft Condensed Matter book for self study

I'm a junior undergraduate in physics & materials science. I've had half of a course in quantum mechanics taught out of Townsend's book (We've gone from beginnings of matrix mechanics to the ...
0
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4answers
141 views

What is the theoretical fastest way a human could be accelerated without dying? [closed]

Humans can survive maybe 3-10 $g$'s sustained acceleration when applied to their backs, like in a rocket launch. This question is not about that. I'm wondering about alternative theoretical future ...