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This course hopefully will help us to figure out how much physics is involving on the life, among them thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, low Reynold's number hydrodynamics, phase transition,  molecular motors, and charged systems. The text book is a very interesting book which also serves to introduce much of the conceptual material underlying the young fields of nanotechnology and soft materials. Definitely, I am not going to teach Biology in this course, as I don’t know that myself! This is very much a physics course, and will emphasize the quantitative aspects of biological phenomena. I strongly recommend all students to read this and this before taking the course.

Some homework problems require some computational work. A basic knowledge of computing (Mathematica or MATLAB) would likely come in handy.

Even though I will briefly review some thermodynamics concepts, basic knowledge of statistical mechanics and thermodynamics are necessary.


Text: Biological Physics: Energy, Information, Life
By Philip Nelson  

Have a look at the  table of Contents

Further Readings:

I strongly recommend you to read new book of Physical Biology of the cell by Phillips/Kondev/Theriot



Reza Ejtehadi


Saturdays and Mondays, 10:30 - 12:00


Physics 412

Office time:

Saturdays, 14:00 – 15:30 



Rouhollah Abdolvahab


Wendsdays, 10:30 - 12:00





Homework and Quizzes




Final Exam


Bonus problems



Useful links:

Lecture 1:

Lecture 2:

  • Some terminology and overview on biological systems
  • Cell (structure and function)
  • Cell division movie can be download from this site.
  • The movie of the neutrophil chasing a bacterium can be found here.
  • This site help you to imagine protein structure.

Lecture 3:

  • Structural objects inside cell
  • Genetics and heredity
  • Some basic educational resources are available here.
  • A very interesting documentary introduction on Human evolution.
  • The future course of evolutionary theory is reviewed here.
  • Home works: Do yourself problems of chapter 2.

Lecture 4:

  • Some introduction about probability density function
  • Moments and cumulants
  • Central limit theorem
  • Velocity distribution of gas molecules

Lecture 5: