Module Overview

Bioelectromagnetism/Applied Optical Spectroscopy

Part A - Bioelectromagnetism

The first part of this course focuses on the origin, modelling, measurement and analysis of bioelectromagnetic phenomena in the human body. The student will learn about the origin of bioelectrical signals in the body, starting with the structure and function of individual neurons and working up to understanding the origin of biopotential signals such as the electrocardiogram and electroencephalogram. The student will learn about the theory and practice of biopotential signal measurement and will gain experience recording and/or analysing signals of this type.


Part B – Applied Spectroscopy

The applied spectroscopy part of the module will develop the idea of using light/radiation to probe the structure of materials. It will start with the basics principle of spectroscopy and then look at the specific types (e.g. UV/vis, Raman, IR). The module will link the types of transitions (electronic, vibrational, rotational), the appropriate types of spectroscopy, the instruments and the applications. The module is a balance of theory, instrumentation and applications.

Module Code

PHYS 4837

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Sources and Modelling of Bioelectric Signals (6 hours)

Neuron structure; Individual neuron function; Function of neurons in the body; Nernst equation for cell membrane; Goldman equation; Neuron modelling; Origin of biopotential signals (one or more of: ECG, EEG, EMG, EOG).

Measurement and Analysis of Biopotential Signals (6 hours)

Recording lead configurations: unipolar, bipolar, lead vector, lead field; Biopotential recording systems: safety, electrodes, amplifiers, artefacts, etc; Biopotential signal processing.


Applied Optical Spectroscopy (12 hours)

Review basic molecular bonding, atomic and molecular  energy levels. Theory of electronic, vibrational, rotational energy levels and transitions. Types of standard spectroscopy (UV/vis, fluorescence, Raman, IR), their principles, instrumentation, and applications. Introduction to non-standard spectroscopy, Edex, XRF etc.

Methods include lectures, video recorded lectures, discussion in class, in class questioning, problem-solving exercises within class and homework; applets and web based video; computer-based calculations, modelling and ray tracing software; text books and programme notes provided on Brightspace; self-directed learning, practical work.

Lectures, paper research projects, self-directed learning, problem-solving,

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Other Assessment(s)100