Physics and Chemistry of Biological Systems

Molecular Biophysical Chemistry

The purpose of this course is to examine inter and intramolecular forces and interactions relevant to understanding biological systems in solution. A key component of this involves developing physical and chemical intuitions for the simplest models used in physical chemistry that are useful for characterizing the structure and dynamics of biomolecules in their respective environments. Specific topics that will be covered include:
  • Length, time and energy scales in biological systems: simple models that help understand/rationalize the spread of these scales in biological systems.
  • Inter and intra-molecular forces: ideal gas law, van-der-Waals theory, Covalent vs Coulomb Forces, thermodynamics and statistical aspects of intermolecular forces.
  • Biochemistry in Water: Acid-Base Equilibria and pKa's of Amino Acids.
  • Hydrophobic Interactions and Theory of Hydrophobic Effects.
  • In-Silico Modeling of Biomolecules in Solution
  • Physical Biology of the Cell , Rob Phillips , Jané Kondev and Julie Theriot. Garland Science, New York, 2009.
  • Intermolecular and Surface Forces, Jacob N. Israelachvili. Academic Press.