By William Bialek

ISBN-10: 0691138915

ISBN-13: 9780691138916

Interactions among the fields of physics and biology succeed in again over a century, and a few of the main major advancements in biology--from the invention of DNA's constitution to imaging of the human brain--have concerned collaboration throughout this disciplinary boundary. For a brand new new release of physicists, the phenomena of lifestyles pose intriguing demanding situations to physics itself, and biophysics has emerged as an immense subfield of this self-discipline. right here, William Bialek offers the 1st graduate-level advent to biophysics aimed toward physics scholars.

Bialek starts off via exploring how photon counting in imaginative and prescient bargains very important classes in regards to the possibilities for quantitative, physics-style experiments on assorted organic phenomena. He attracts from those classes 3 normal actual principles--the value of noise, the necessity to comprehend the intense functionality of dwelling structures with no attractive to finely tuned parameters, and the serious function of the illustration and movement of knowledge within the company of lifestyles. Bialek then applies those ideas to a extensive variety of phenomena, together with the regulate of gene expression, belief and reminiscence, protein folding, the mechanics of the internal ear, the dynamics of biochemical reactions, and trend formation in constructing embryos.

Featuring quite a few difficulties and routines all through, Biophysics emphasizes the unifying energy of summary actual rules to encourage new and novel experiments on organic structures.

  • Covers a number organic phenomena from the physicist's point of view
  • Features 2 hundred difficulties
  • Draws on statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, and similar mathematical ideas
  • Includes an annotated bibliography and special appendixes
  • Instructor's handbook (available purely to lecturers)

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Extra info for Biophysics: Searching for Principles

Example text

Explain qualitatively why, if we select only a small fraction of events out of the original sequence at random, the resulting sparse sequence will be approximately Poisson. What is the condition for the Poisson approximation to be a good one? What does this have to do with why, for example, the light that reaches us from an incandescent light bulb comes in a Poisson stream of photons? 1 Probability of seeing calculated from Eq. 2), where the intensity I is measured as the mean number of photons incident on the cornea, so that α is dimensionless.

Solve this, and show that the probability of counting n quanta in this state is given by the Poisson distribution, that is, Pα (n) ≡ n|α 2 = |ψn|2 = e−M Mn , n! 8) where the mean number of quanta is M = |α|2. (b) The specialness of the coherent states relates to their dynamics and their representation in position space. A quantum mechanical state |φ evolves in time as i d|φ = H|φ . 9) Show that if the system starts in a coherent state |α(0) at time t = 0, it remains in a coherent state for all time.

Surely if the flash is bright enough, the answer is “yes,” but how dim can the flash be before we fail? Do we fail abruptly, so that there is a well-defined threshold—lights brighter than the threshold are always seen, lights dimmer than it are never seen—or is the transition from seeing to not seeing somehow more gradual? These questions are classical examples of “psychophysics,” studies on the relationship between perception and the physical variables in the world around us, and they have a history reaching back at least into the nineteenth century.

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Biophysics: Searching for Principles by William Bialek

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