Download e-book for kindle: Biophysics: Searching for Principles by William Bialek

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 iteration of physicists, the phenomena of existence pose interesting demanding situations to physics itself, and biophysics has emerged as an enormous subfield of this self-discipline. the following, William Bialek offers the 1st graduate-level advent to biophysics aimed toward physics scholars.

Bialek starts off by way of exploring how photon counting in imaginative and prescient bargains vital classes in regards to the possibilities for quantitative, physics-style experiments on diversified organic phenomena. He attracts from those classes 3 common actual principles--the significance of noise, the necessity to comprehend the extreme functionality of residing platforms with out attractive to finely tuned parameters, and the severe position of the illustration and stream of data within the company of existence. Bialek then applies those ideas to a large variety of phenomena, together with the keep watch over of gene expression, notion 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 strength of summary actual ideas to encourage new and novel experiments on organic platforms.

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

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Additional resources for Biophysics: Searching for Principles

Example text

But this colloquial discussion of counting photons smooths over some subtleties. In principle, when we open a photodetector to a beam of light, all that happens is that the quantum states of the detector become entangled with the quantum states of the light beam. The notion of counting is a classical idea, and so to really understand what we mean when we count photons, we have to think about issues in the quantum theory of measurement. In our retina as in photomultipliers, the key step is the absorption of the photon, where the interactions with (many) other degrees of freedom destroy the coherence between the two electronic states that are connected by the photon.

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. Find α(t). 10) where p and q are the momentum and position, respectively, of the mass. What is the relationship between the creation and annihilation operators and the position and momentum operators (qˆ , p)?

Why doesn’t the random selection of events to be counted result in some “extra” variance beyond expectations for the Poisson process? Hecht, Shlaer, and Pirenne did exactly the experiment we are analyzing. Subjects (the three co-authors) sat in a dark room and reported whether they did or did not see a dim flash of light. ” Thus, at each intensity it was possible to measure the probability that the subject would say “yes,” and this is plotted in Fig. 2. The first nontrivial result of these experiments is that human perception of dim light flashes really is probabilistic.

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Biophysics: Searching for Principles by William Bialek

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