BPHY 304 — Biophysics and Bio-imaging
Imagine a day when Life is fully understood and a cure is found for every disease. Is this only a dream? Leading biologists and medical researchers now believe this may someday be achieved. How? With help from a new generation of scientists and medical practitioners who are better trained to understand living systems in a mechanistic way, that is, how these systems follow precise principles of chemistry and physics. The focus of our Biophysics major at Centenary College is to provide you with this training.
Undergraduate biology students who become comfortable with the ideas of mathematics and physical sciences from the start of their education will be better positioned to contribute to future discoveries in biomedical research.
—From the preface to BIO2010, a report published in 2003 by the National Research Council at the request of the National Institutes if Health and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
find out about the biophysics curriculum at Centenary
Online Textbook (updated for 2009)
Our lecture notes take you to the various topics covered in this class, which are a synthesis of my notes and student feedback accumulated since I began teaching this class in the Fall of 1997. These notes are now written in textbook format, thanks to one of my former students, Kathryn Thompson, now a graduate student at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego. In addition to her skillful writing, she also helped re-organize the material and augmented some of the topics with her own examples. Many of the illustrations were made by an artistically talented biophysics student, Meredith Stewart, who is now a student of traditional Chinese medicine.
If you are a visitor from outside our campus and find these notes of interest, please feel free to use them for non-commercial purposes. We would also appreciate receiving any feedback or suggestions that might help us improve the material.
Ways to View the Notes
- You can view them in a virtual ebook format (it has a table of contents).
- You can download the all of the notes as a single 4M PDF.
- You can download individual chapters:
- Animal Locomotion
- Fluid Mechaniscs of the Circulatory System
- Wave Phenomena in Hearing
- Heating and Cooling of the Body
- Optics in Vision and Eyesight Correction
- Light Absorption and Color in Biomolecules
- The Behavior of Photoexcited Biomolecules
- Statistical Mechanics in Biology
- Experimental Determination of Protein Structure
- Nerve Conduction
The physics of walking
Blood flow: fluid flow through a pipe
Hearing range, decibels and loudness, resonance of the ear canal, and spectrum of speech
Heat dissipation from the body: radiant heat, evaporative cooling, and heat conduction
Absorption of light by bio-molecules
Emission properties of bio-molecules
Energy transfer in photosynthesis
Magnetic Resonance Imaging