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Quantitative Understanding of Biosystems: An Introduction to Biophysics

By: Thomas M Nordlund

864 pages, 320 black & white illustrations, 59 black & white tables

CRC Press

Hardback | Dec 2010 | #187792 | ISBN-13: 9781420089721
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £49.99 $61/€56 approx

About this book

An intermediate level treatment, this text covers the biophysics of macromolecules and subcellular structures interactions with light, from a quantitative perspective. The author emphasizes mathematical and computational approaches to the study of the properties and physical behavior of biomolecules and nonstructures. He provides detailed coverage of key principles of statistical mechanics and quantum effects that are important for biological function, as well as light interactions with supramolecular structures. The book incorporates learning tools such as problem sets, exercises, review material, and learning objectives and includes discussions of topics that are often neglected, such as structural hierarchy.

The book contains a beautiful review of essential physics for understanding biological systems, particularly at the molecular scale, emphasizing that which is rarely taught in standard physics classes: how to think like a physicist. The chapters on quantum mechanics and the interaction of photons with biological systems are particularly welcome, and set this book apart. I believe that the progression through to the effects of UV radiation and sunscreens will be popular with students. --Ernest Barreto, George Mason University This book is so far the best on the market in terms of an undergraduate biophysics textbook. It is very likely that I will adopt this textbook for my next year! The book is quite an equilibrated comprehensive description of the basic mechanisms that govern biological systems. This textbook is indeed a great example of a quantitative approach for teaching undergraduate students from physics and biological sciences. The material offers conceptual examples and broad lists of key references. The textbook will have great success not only for the clarity of presentation, but also for its structure and numerous examples ! . --Liviu Movileanu, Department of Physics and Syracuse Biomaterials Institute, Syracuse University This is an excellent book for the physics or bioengineering undergraduate student. It is approachable at the junior level and it is written in a very clear style with plenty of useful and colorful figures. Particularly, it is nice how the book builds up toward the main equations to make them intuitive from basic principles! . The accompanying CD is very useful as well. The glossary section is an excellent tool for the student not familiar with biology. --Diego Krapf, School of Biomedical Engineering, Colorado State University Biology is complex, but teaching it may be even more complicated. Modern biology integrates a traditional biology perspective with a deeper look into mechanisms that require perspectives from physics and chemistry. However, many instructors who want to teach courses that bridge these fields often are confronted with the problem that no good text exists. We therefore need textbooks that can function as the basis for courses that will train students to integrate these diverse disciplines. Quantitative Understanding of Biosystems is a text geared toward starting a student along this path. The book provides a good introduction into a broad range of biology and physics topics and shows how physics can explain aspects of biological mechanisms at many different length scales. The text also provides a nice exposition on the differences between how a biologist approaches a problem and how a physicist does. This discussion is important for helping to bring these two communities together, and will aid in making a course developed using this text applicable to students from biology as well as from physics, chemistry, math, or engineering. --Charles Wolgemuth, University of Connecticut Health Center A superb pedagogical textbook about the behavior and properties of the microscopic structures that form the essential building blocks of living systems. ! Full-color illustrations aid students in their understanding of how to use mathematical tools (graphing, calculus, simple differential equations, diagrammatic analysis, and more) to better grasp, analyze, and project solutions to problems involving the quantitative characterization of biosystems. An accompanying CD-ROM offers 'active' versions of Excel graphs and diagrams listed in the text, and links to mathematical, biological, and biochemical source data. ! an excellent college text or self-instruction manual for advanced biophysics science students. --Midwest Book Review, May 2011 Combines a nice balance of topics with important basic material ! . The emphasis on problems, projects, and tools is very helpful. --Stephen J. Hagen, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA A versatile textbook that also serves as a good introduction to quantitative biology ! strikes a balance between 'not too difficult' for life science students and 'conceptually rich and challenging' for physics and math students. --Yuri Gartstein and Stephen Levene, The University of Texas at Dallas, USA


Introduction, Approach, and Tools. Structure and Function. Quantum Effects in Biology. The (Classical) Micro-World. Appendices.

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Thomas M. Nordlund is an associate professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. A Fellow of the American Physical Society, Dr. Nordlund has performed research in biomolecular dynamics for 30 years. He earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, under the supervision of Hans Frauenfelder.

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