Course Synopses


  • Course Description:

    Prerequisite: Linear algebra, differential equations, thermodynamics, and classical physics (at the junior level). Review of physical phenomena that determine the properties of biological molecules, molecular assemblies, and fundamental biological processes. Also offered as 16:118:507.

    This course is designed to introduce biophysics to upper-level physics undergraduate and graduate students. The course will start with a review of big ideas in modern molecular/cellular biology to familiarize physics students with the language used in life science. Thereafter, basic physical principles underling structure and dynamics of macromolecules, such as diffusion, random walks, low Reynolds-number hydrodynamics, entropic force, and osmotic pressure, will be discussed in the light of soft matter physics. Life cannot persist without constant mechanical work of numerous molecular machines inside cells. The working principles of these molecular machines will be studied in more detail through enzyme kinetics and mechano-chemical coupling. Recent developments in biophysical methods that have enabled testing of many physical models in biology will be covered as well.

  • Learning Management System: