Spring 2018

Molecular and Cellular Biophysics

Listed in: Biochemistry-Biophysics, as BCBP-400  |  Biology, as BIOL-400  |  Chemistry, as CHEM-400  |  Physics and Astronomy, as PHYS-400

Formerly listed as: BIOL-40  |  CHEM-28  |  CHEM-46


Ashley R. Carter (Section 01)


(Offered as PHYS 400, BIOL 400, BCBP 400, and CHEM 400) How do the physical laws that dominate our lives change at the small length and energy scales of individual molecules? What design principles break down at the sub-cellular level and what new chemistry and physics becomes important? We will answer these questions by looking at bio-molecules, cellular substructures, and control mechanisms that work effectively in the microscopic world. How can we understand both the static and dynamic shape of proteins using the laws of thermodynamics and kinetics? How has the basic understanding of the smallest molecular motor in the world, ATP synthase, changed our understanding of friction and torque? We will explore new technologies, such as atomic force and single molecule microscopy that have allowed research into these areas. This course will address topics in each of the three major divisions of Biophysics: bio-molecular structure, biophysical techniques, and biological mechanisms.

Requisite: CHEM 161, PHYS 116/123, PHYS 117/124, BIOL 191 or evidence of equivalent coverage in pre-collegiate courses.  Spring semester.  Professor TBA.


Attention to Research, Attention to Speaking, Quantitative Reasoning


2017-18: Offered in Spring 2018
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017