The purpose of the book is to give a survey of the physics that is relevant for biological applications, and also to discuss what kind of biology needs physics. The book gives a broad account of basic physics, relevant for the applications and various applications from properties of proteins to processes in the cell to wider themes such as the brain, the origin of life and evolution. It also considers general questions of common interest such as reductionism, determinism and randomness, where the physics view often is misunderstood. The subtle balance between order and disorder is a repeated theme appearing in many contexts. There are descriptive parts which shall be sufficient for the comprehension of general ideas, and more detailed, formalistic parts for those who want to go deeper, and see the ideas expressed in terms of mathematical formulas.

Key Features

- Describes how physics is needed for understanding basic principles of biology - Discusses the delicate balance between order and disorder in living systems - Explores how physics play a role high biological functions, such as learning and thinking


Students, researchers and professionals in physics and biology

Table of Contents

I. General Introduction 1. Introduction 2. Physics of Life. Physics of Two Levels II. Basic Physics Concepts 3. Concepts and Numerical Reference 4. Basis of Classical (Newtonian) Dynamics 5. Electricity - The Core of Reductionism Basis 6. Quantum mechanics 7. Basic Thermodynamics; Introduction 8. Statistical Thermodynamics III. The General Trends and the Objects 9. Some Trends in 20th Century Physics 10. From Simple to Complex Systems 11. Theoretical Physics Models; Important Analogies 12. The Biological Objects 13. What is Life? IV. Going Further with Thermodynamics 14. Thermodynamic Formalism and Examples 15. Examples of Entropy and Order/Disorder 16. Statistical Thermodynamics Models V. Stochastic Dynamics 17. Basic Probability Concepts 18. Stochastic Processes 19. Random Walk* 20. Stochastic Step Processes; Master Equations* 21. Brownian Motion, First Description* 22. Diffusion and Continuous Stochastic Processes* 23. Brownian Motion, Continuation* VI. Basic Macromolecular Applications 24. Protein Folding and Structure Dynamics 25. Basis of Enzyme Kinetics VII Non-linearity 26. General Introduction to Non-linearity 27. Oscillations and Space Variations* 28. Deterministic Chaos 29. Noise and Nonlinear Phenomena VIII. Applications 30. Recognition and Selection in Biological Processes 31. Brownian R


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© 2007
Elsevier Science
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About the author

Clas Blomberg

Born 1936, Clas Blomberg has a PhD in theoretical physics at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm 1966. He has been a Professor there since 1986. He started studies in statistical mechanics, and since mid-70:s worked with theoretical physics problems with relevance to biology. He built up a successful research group at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.

Affiliations and Expertise

Theoretical Biological Physics Group (KTH), Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden