2023-2024 / PHYS3038-1

Physical basis of biomedicine


60h Th, 20h Pr, 20h QA Sess., 20h REM

Number of credits

 Bachelor in biomedicine10 crédits 


Maryse Hoebeke

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The fields of physics introduced  in this course were selected according to the specific needs of students in biomedical sciences. The application of the rules of physics makes it possible to explain a large number of biological mechanisms as well as the functioning of certain devices used in research laboratories. The applications and examples of this course were chosen accordingly.
1. Kinematics at one or two dimensions
2. Newton laws   3. Geometrical optics, esp. the physical basics of ophthalmology   4. Eletromagnetism, esp. the physical basics of electrophysiology   5. The physical basics of biomechanics, elasticity, stress and strain   6. Fluid mechanics, esp. blood flow in the circulatory system and the biophysics of the respiration 7. Circular motion
8. Oscillation and waves
9. Energy

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

Physics can be usedbiomedical sciences  pragmatically. Applying physical laws makes it possible to explain a great number of biological mechanisms and to remedy certain deficiencies. Physical methods used in medicine and in laboratory , which will have to be further explained during specialized courses, require some introduction to physics with a view to learning the key elements of physics thinking. Biological systems are real systems; like steam engines and computers, they are all subjected to physical constraints. Learning about the rules of physics allows students to understand a great number of mechanisms and advanced techniques, which will then cease being obscure concepts. The following general questions show that physics often plays a role in biology and medicine. Physical laws limit the possible uses of a microscope. It is possible to examine a liver cell, a protein or a hydrogen atom under a microscope? What does an electroencephalogram measure? What is dialysis? How can isotopic labelling be used in medicine? What dangers should be considered while using such a technique? What is the role of a pacemaker? In what biological processes does gravity play a role?

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

The course requires good knowledge of secondary education-level mathematics and physics. Remedial classes classes will be organized to refresh basic knowledge and bridge the gap between secondary education and first-year university courses.A site accessible to all will allow the students to test their acquired meadow.  Theoretical notes, interactive resolutions of exercises, videos, etc. will allow a individualized help to the success .

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The repetition and practicals schedule will be communicated to the students at the beginning of the year.  Student have to be present at the practicals. Any absence must be justified in the week which follows the absence at the secretary's office.The theorical lessons will be podcasted to allow students who cannot follow face-to-face lessons to follow them remotely. Question and answer sessions on the course are held remotely.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

The course schedule will be available early september

Recommended or required readings

Physique expérimentale (Experimental Physics)
J. KANE & M. STERHEIM, Physique, Dunod, Paris,
Fourth edition corrected by P. Ghosez, M. Hoebeke, G. Llabrès
syllabus for practical sessions
"Imagerie médicale, bases physiques" par A. Seret et M. Hoebeke, édition de l'Université de Liège

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions )

Additional information:

The exam will be exclusively written. It will take place face-to-face or online depending on health standards.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

Students can ask the professor physics questions outside of theoretical classes.  Question-and-answer sessions will take place online

Useful information can also be found on the Internet . For questions on repetitions and laboratory classes, students can ask the relevant assistant lecturers and supervising tutors. Students can also ask for the help of a remedial tutor for the physics course. The remedial tutor is specifically in charge of bridging the gap between secondary and university education. For urgent problems, you can call Ms M. Hoebeke on her mobile: 0476 23 74 23. Administrative issues: please contact Ms Renson on 04/366 36 14.


Professeur Maryse HOEBEKE, local 1/14, Bâtiment Physique B5, tél: 04/366 36 51, GSM 0476/23 74 23, Email: M.Hoebeke@uliege.be Secrétariat: C.Renson, Bâtiment Physique B5, tél: 04/366 36 61, Email: christine.renson@uliege.be Logisticien : Cristelle Prosperi, Bâtiment Physique B5, tel : 04/3663663 Email : Christelle.Prosperi@uliege.be Responsable plateforme PX Marique 043663631 pxmarique@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs

The MOOC entitled 'Physique- Mécanique : bien entamer l'enseignement supérieur (S2)' is associated with this course.