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Biophysics: An Introduction



Biophysics: An Introduction

Rodney Cotterill

ISBN: 978-0-470-85456-3 July 2003 408 Pages

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Biophysics is an evolving, multidisciplinary subject which applies physics to biological systems and promotes an understanding of their physical properties and behaviour.

Biophysics: An Introduction, is a concise balanced introduction to this subject. Written in an accessible and readable style, the book takes a fresh, modern approach with the author successfully combining key concepts and theory with relevant applications and examples drawn from the field as a whole.

Beginning with a brief introduction to the origins of biophysics, the book takes the reader through successive levels of complexity, from atoms to molecules, structures, systems and ultimately to the behaviour of organisms. The book also includes extensive coverage of biopolymers, biomembranes, biological energy, and nervous systems. The text not only explores basic ideas, but also discusses recent developments, such as protein folding, DNA/RNA conformations, molecular motors, optical tweezers and the biological origins of consciousness and intelligence.

Biophysics: An Introduction

* Is a carefully structured introduction to biological and medical physics

* Provides exercises at the end of each chapter to encourage student understanding

Assuming little biological or medical knowledge, this book is invaluable to undergraduate students in physics, biophysics and medical physics. The book is also useful for graduate students and researchers looking for a broad introduction to the subject.


1. Introduction.

2. Chemical Binding.

3. Energies, Forces and Bonds.

4. Rates of Reaction.

5. Transport Processes.

6. Some Techniques and Methods.

7. Biological Polymers.

8. Biological Membranes.

9. Biological Energy.

10. Movement of Organisms.

11. Excitable Membranes.

12. Nerve Signals.

13. Memory.

14. Control of Movement.

Appendix A: Elements of Quantum Mechanics.

Appendix B: The Hydrogen Atom.

Appendix C: Thermal Motion.

Appendix D: Probability Distributions.

Appendix E: Differential Equations.

Name Index.

Subject Index. 

"...quite thoroughly enjoyed would be quite satisfactory for an introductory course..." (Health Physics, Vol. 84, No. 5, May 2003)

"...essential reading for anyone putting a biophysics course together...the book brings together essential material usually omitted from the undergraduate physics curriculum..." (American Journal of Physics, November 2003)

  • Carefully structured introduction to biophysics and medical physics
  • Based on an undergraduate course the author has been teaching for many years
  • Combines coverage of the basic concepts and ideas along with the more cutting edge developments, including: biopolymers, protein folding, DNA/RNA conformations, molecular motors and optical tweezers
  • Assumes little biological or medical knowedge