Physics and Chemistry of Biological Systems

Statistical Mechanics for Soft Matter Systems

  • Diffusive processes (one-dimensional RW, Perrin expt, Einstein diffusion relation)
  • Langevin equation (underdamped and overdamped)
  • Stochastic harmonic oscillator, power spectrum
  • Harmonic oscillator coupled to heat bath
  • Fokker-Planck equation
  • Out-of-equilibrium systems: stochastic motion in a tilted washboard potential (giant acceleration of diffusion)
  • Entropic forces:
    • giant acceleration of dynamics in systems with spatially modulated confinement
    • depletion effect in crowded systems
  • Mean field solution of charged particles in ionic solutions (Debye Hueckel theory, Debye screening length)
  • Mean field solution of charged rods (counterion condensation)
  • RNA structure prediction, calculation of partition function of 1D systems with nested long-range interactions
  • Partition function of (quasi)-1D systems with short-ranged interactions, transfer matrix techniques

The successful and proficient attendance of the course will be evaluated through an oral exam.

  • K. Huang, Statistical Mechanics, any edition
  • J. Yeomans, Statistical Mechanics of Phase transitions
  • N. Goldenfeld, Lectures On Phase Transitions And The Renormalization Group
  • G. Parisi, Statistical field theory