- UCAS course code
- UCAS institution code
Year of entry: 2021
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Course unit details:
Physics of Living Processes
|Unit level||Level 3|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Offered by||Department of Physics & Astronomy|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
The Physics of Living Processes
|Unit title||Unit code||Requirement type||Description|
|Properties of Matter||PHYS10352||Pre-Requisite||Compulsory|
Follow - Up Units
PHYS40411 - Frontiers of Solid State Physics
PHYS40631 - Laser Photomedicine
PHYS40732 - Biomaterials
To introduce the topic of biological physics and to devevlop an understanding of some physical tools to solve problems in the life sciences.
This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 21/22 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact. Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates
On completion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Describe the main domains within a cell and the major types of biological molecule to provide a broad overview of molecular biophysics.
2. Analayse the behaviour of biological materials using models from soft condensed matter physics to allow quantitative predications to be made.
3. Compare the main experimental techniques used in biological physics, appraise their usage to solve biological problems and demonstrate an understanding from the perspective of the underlying physical principles.
4. Construct and interpet a range of basic models that underpin systems biology based on the activity of transcription networks.
5. Explain the basic models of electrophysiology and describe how they relate to the study of brains and the senses based on the underlying physics principles.
1. Building blocks (2 lectures)
2. Soft-condensed matter in biology (10 lectures)
Charged ions and polymers
3. Experimental techniques (2 lectures)
Photonics techniques, mass spectroscopy, thermodynamics, hydrodynamics, single molecule methods, electron microscopy, NMR, osmotic pressure, chromatography, electrophoresis, sedimentation, rheology, tribology.
4. Systems biology (4 lectures)
Introduction to systems biology
5. Spikes, brains and the senses (4 lectures)
Physiology of cells and organisms
Tutorial solutions for the example sheets will be marked every week and model answers will be provided.
Waigh, T.A. The Physics of Living Processes: a Mesoscopic Approach (Wiley 2014)
Alberts, B. Essential Cell Biology (Garland 2008)
Alon, U. Introduction to Systems Biology (CRC 2007)
Cotterill, R. Biophysics: An Introduction (Wiley 2002)
Hobbie, R.K., Roth B.J. Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology (Springer 2007)
Nelson, P. Physical Models of Living Systems (Freeman, 2015)
Phillips, R. Kondev J., Theriot, J., Garcia H.G., Physical Biology of the Cell (Garland, 2013)
Waigh, T.A. Critical Questions in Biological Physics (IOP 2017)
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Assessment written exam||1.5|
|Independent study hours|
|Anne Juel||Unit coordinator|
|Thomas Waigh||Unit coordinator|