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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.

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Syllabus for

Academic year
FKA116 - Biological physics
 
Syllabus adopted 2014-02-25 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPAPP
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Engineering Physics
Department: 16 - PHYSICS


Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students
Block schedule: A

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0104 Examination 7,5c Grading: TH   7,5c    

In programs

MPAPP APPLIED PHYSICS, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)
MPBME BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)
MPNAT NANOTECHNOLOGY, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)

Examiner:

Professor  Fredrik Höök
Professor  Mattias Marklund



Eligibility:


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites

A basic understanding of thermodynamics and statistical physics is advantageous.

Aim

The course is aimed at 1) providing the basic theoretical tools and understanding of central concepts in biological physics and 2) providing an enhanced capability of conducting and presenting experimental work in biological physics.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

After successfully completing the course, you will be able to:

  • Understand and use the key vocabulary of biological physics

  • Describe and utilize the basic physical concepts of importance in biological systems

  • Explain different physical aspects of biological molecules such as for example DNA, protein, enzymes, cell membranes and live cells.

  • Relate fundamental physical forces to biological function and structural complexity of live cells

  • Better plan and perform experimental biological physics experiments that give qualitative insight in some of the main concept of the course

  • Improve your ability to present the results of an experimental biological physics project in a written project report and at a seminar.

Content

The theory part focuses on the following aspects:
  • The stuff of life and physical model building in biolog
  • Hierarchy of length and time scales
  • Mechanical and chemical (non)equilibrium in the living cell
  • Random walks and dynamical molecular machines
  • Biological membranes and transport into and out of cells
  • Life in crowded and disordered environments
  • Biological electricity and photosynthesis
An important aspect of the course is to utilize the tools and knowledge you have from before in thermodynamics, statistical physics, solid state physics, soft matter physics (or chemistry, biochemistry, physical chemistry if your background is not physics).
The experimental part of the course consists of i) two shorter introductory experiments in which you get used to handling buffers and biomolecules and perform experiments that illustrates enzymatic activity and random walk and ii) a larger project focusing on some of the fundamental concepts in the course:
  • What determines the mobility and permeability of cellular membranes?
  • What is the physical basis of intermolecular interactions and specificity in biology?
  • How can random walk and diffusion be manipulated and utilized?
An important aim with the experimental part is that you will get training of working in a wet-chemistry biological laboratory with biological molecules and solvents. The main experimental techniques that will be used are fluorescence microscopy, optical (UV-VIS) and fluorescence spectroscopy and surface-sensitive tools.

An additional aim of the project labs is that you will gain experience in planning and performing a biological physics experiment from the beginning and to analyze and present the results in a written report and at an oral seminar with opposition.

Organisation

The course consists of around 12 lectures, focusing on theoretical models applicable on Biological Physics (6 - 8), and how the experimental methods used in the laboratory exercises and projects relate to the theory part (4 - 6) including additional applications of biological physics. It also includes an experimental part consisting of both short training experiments and a challenging experimental project in groups of 2-3 students during the entire course.

Literature

Course book: Physical Biology of the Cell, 2nd edition, Rob Phillips, Jane Kondev, Julie Theriot and Hernan Garcia; Garland Science 2013.

Examination

Weekly home problems and oral exam covering theory part. Written and oral presentation of the experimental project at the end of the course. The theoretical and experimental parts will have an equal weight in the final grade.


Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.