286 pages, Figs, tabs
Our understanding of biological functions is rapidly approaching the molecular level. On this scale the only significant forces are electromagnetic, so that ultimately all living processes must be understood in terms of electromagnetic fields and forces. The first part of this unique new text deals with the theory of electromagnetism using a descriptive and geometrical approach suited to students of biology, chemistry, and biochemistry, and including biologically relevant examples where possible. The second part contains biological topics, which can serve as applications of the theory for students of chemistry or biology, or as an introduction to biology for students trained in the physical sciences who wish to migrate to biology. Topics include the properties of water and ions in bulk solution and in narrow pores, the Debye Layer, possible mechanisms for a magnetic animal compass, an electrostatic model of a proton/ion counterport, and the semi-classical theory of nuclear magnetic resonance.
The book conveniently sets out the basic information that forms the back-ground to the physical approach to parts of biology. It would be useful to research workers with biological backgrounds who find they need to understand electrical phenomena at the physical level. Times Higher Education Supplement
PART I: THE BASIC THEORY; 1. Electrostatic fields and voltage; 2. How conductors shape an electric field; 3. Ionic conductors; 4. Properties of the electric dipole and Gauss's Law when dielectrics are present; 5. The calculation of electric fields and voltages in the presence of dielectrics; 6. Static magnetic fields; 7. The generation of magnetic fields; 8. Magnetic polarization of material; 9. Induced electric and magnetic fields; 10. The motion of a charged particle in electric and magnetic fields; PART II: APPLICATIONS; 11. Ions in aqueous solution and the ionization of acids and bases; 12. The Debye Layer; 13. The behaviour of ions in narrow pores; 14. Possible mechanisms for a magnetic animal compass; 15. An electrostatic model of a proton/ion or an ion/ion coport or counterport; 16. An introduction to the classical theory of pulsed nuclear magnetic resonance; Appendix 1: Mathematics; Appendix 2: The Boltzmann Distribution; Appendix 3: An introduction to thermodynamics and the chemical potential; Appendix 4: Hints for the solutions and numerical answers to the problems
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