Theoretical Biophysics FYTN05/EXTQ01, 7.5 hp
Introductory meeting: TBA at 10.15 in room HUB (Theoretical physics). Welcome!
Theoretical Biophysics is an advanced level course given at the Department of Astronomy and Theoretical Physics (course code FYTN05), at the Science Faculty. The course is also given to students at LTH in the N, F, and Pi programs (course code EXTQ01).
You will learn about various physical processes of fundamental importance in biology, including diffusion, Brownian motion, entropic forces, osmotic pressure and cooperative transitions, and how they are described using theoretical concepts taken primarily from statistical mechanics. You will also learn about the motion of biopolymers, the function of molecular machines and signal propagation in neurons. The course examination consists of 2 computer assigments, a seminar presentation and an oral exam.
Should a physicist study biology? The answer is, in fact, they already have and for quite some time. Many famous physicists, including Richard Feynman, Wolfgang Pauli, Niels Bohr, Max Delbrück and Edwin Schrödinger (the list could be made much longer), have had a profound interest in biological problems and in some cases made substantial progress to specific biology subfields, such as molecular biology. Biology today can be said to be similar to where the physics field was a century ago, with a range of important and fundamentally unresolved problems. The "physics approach" will likely be an indispensable tool for future efforts seeking to provide a profound understanding of many of these problems.