Learning Resources
Practice Passages

Physical processes

About this unit

AAMC Foundational Concept 4: Complex living organisms transport materials, sense their environment, process signals, and respond to changes using processes that can be understood in terms of physical principles.

The processes that take place within organisms follow the laws of physics. They can be quantified with equations that model the behavior at a fundamental level. For example, the principles of electromagnetic radiation, and its interactions with matter, can be exploited to generate structural information about molecules or to generate images of the human body. So, too, can atomic structure be used to predict the physical and chemical properties of atoms, including the amount of electromagnetic energy required to cause ionization.

With these building blocks, medical students will be able to utilize core principles of physics to learn about the physiological functions of the respiratory, cardiovascular, and neurological systems in health and disease.

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