Resources for Teaching Biological Physics / Biophysics


See also my Biological Physics course website, our Advanced Lab Teaching Resources page and our website on teaching Medical Physics

This web site gives an informal listing of articles on teaching biophysics, biophysics textbooks, and hyperlinks for biophysics courses nationwide, plus a few English-language sites in other countries. I have tried to list primarily websites containing at least a syllabus plus other course materials. In some cases, just a description is on-line, but this provides visitors with an idea of what such courses look like. Please feel free to send me information by email about sites which are having problems or no longer connect. We especially appreciate being notified about course websites to include. To get your course webpage listed please send your name, department, institution, and course webpage URL, plus information about any special course materials you have available online (lecture notes, online textbooks, problems, software) to Suzanne Amador Kane.
This project is part of our Biochemistry and Biophysics program at Haverford College, part of the curricular initiatives sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.


Resources for Teaching Biophysics: Current Articles reviewing the subject:

"The Biological Frontier of Physics", Rob Phillips and Stephen R. Quake, Physics Today May 2006, pp. 38-43.

"Resource Letter PBFi-1: Physical Frontiers in Biology", Eugenie Vorburger Mielczarek, Am. J. Phys. 74 (5), May 2006, pp. 375-381.

"Teaching Biological Physics", Ray Goldstein, Phil Nelson, and Tom Powers, Physics Today, March 2005, pp. 46.

"An undergraduate biophysics program: curricular examples and lessons from a liberal arts context," Suzanne Amador Kane, Am. J. Phys. 70, 581 (2002).

Biophysics books of interest :

Physical Biology of the Cell, Ron Phillips, Jane Kondev and Julie Theriot, Garland Science, 2008.

Applied Biophysics: A Molecular Approach for Physical Scientists, Tom A. Waigh, John Wiley & Sons, 2007.

Mechanics of the Cell, David Boal, Cambridge University Press, 2002. Mechanics of the Cell Course website (David Boal)--typos & other materials

Biological Physics: Energy, Information, Life, Philip Nelson, Publisher: W H Freeman & Co; (July 2003)

Molecular Driving Forces: Statistical Thermodynamics in Chemistry and Biology, Ken A. Dill and Sarina Bromberg, Garland Science, 2003.

Molecular and Cellular Biophysics, Meyer B. Jackson, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK 2006.

Physics in Molecular Biology, Kim Sneppen & Giovanni Zocchi, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK (2005).

Methods in Modern Biophysics, Bengt Nolting, Springer Verlag, Berlin, 2004.
Biophysics Educational Resources On-Line, Biophysical Society:
Entries on: Molecular Structure and Behavior and Biophysical Techniques and Biophysical Mechanisms and Teaching Biophysics/Careers in Biophysics.

Glaser, Roland, Biophysics, New York : Springer, 2001.

Cotterill, Rodney, Biophysics : an introduction, Chichester ; New York : Wiley, 2002

Physics with illustrated examples from medicine and biology
, George B. Benedek, Felix M.H. Villars, AIP Press, NY 2000: Vol. 1,2 & 3; especially vol.2, Chapter 1, pp. 41-57 on random coil polymers; Problem 1-26 (pg. 86-88).

Biology at the single molecule level / edited by S.H. Leuba, and J. Zlatanova Publisher Amsterdam ; New York : Pergamon, 2001.

Biophysics problems : a textbook with answers, Péter Maróti, László Berkes, and Ferenc Tölgyesi , Budapest : Akadémiai Kiadó, 1998.

Computational biochemistry and biophysics, edited by Oren M. Becker, New York : M. Dekker, 2001

Molecular biophysics : structures in motion, Michel Daune, Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1999

The physical basis of biochemistry : the foundations of molecular biophysics, Peter R. Bergethon,New York : Springer, 1998

An Introduction to Environmental Biophysics, Gaylon S. Campbell & John R. Norman, Springer, New York, 1998.

Physics of biological systems : from molecules to species, Henrik Flyvbjerg ed., Berlin ; New York : Springer, 1997

Cellular biophysics, Thomas Fischer Weiss, Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, 1996. (This two-volume 1400 page set by the professor's undergraduate biophysics prof lets you see that she isn't making up how hard her MIT courses were!)

Random Walks in Biology, Howard Berg, Princeton University Press, 1993.

E. Coli in Motion, Howard Berg, 2001.

Related Books on Soft Matter Physics and Polymer Physics:

Soft Condensed Matter, Richard A. L. Jones, Oxford University Press, 2002.

The Colloidal Domain: where physics, chemistry, biology and technology meet, D. Fennell Evans, Hakan Wennerstrom, VCH Publishers, New York, 1999.

Scaling Concepts in Polymer Physics, Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Cornell, 1988.

MAST (Materials Science and Technology
), Materials Science and Engineering Department, University of Illinois, Urbana at:

Introduction to liquid crystals: chemistry and physics,
Peter J. Collings and Michael Hird, London ; Bristol, PA : Taylor & Francis, 1997: Chapters 1 and 2; we will cover highlights of 3-6, 9 and 12 in lecture.

Soft Matter Physics,
M. Daoud, C.E. Williams Eds., Springer-Verlag, 1999: "Fractals" M. Daoud and H. Van Damme, pp. 46- 86.Statistical Physics: Part 1, L.D. Landau and E.M. Lifshitz, Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1980; pp. 396-400.

Soft and fragile matter: nonequilibrium dynamics, metastability, and flow
, edited by M.E. Cates, M.R. Evans, Institute of Physics Publishing, Briston, Philadelphia, 2000.

Statistical Thermodynamics of Surfaces, Interfaces and Membranes
, Samuel A. Safran, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1994.

Micelles, monolayers, and biomembranes,
Malcolm N. Jones, Dennis Chapman, New York : Wiley-Liss, 1995.

Physics of Complex and Supramolecular Fluids
, edited by Samuel A. Safran and Noel A. Clark, Wiley, NY 1987.

Collings, Peter J., "Liquid crystal displays", Am. J. Phys., 63(11), 1044-1048 (1995).

McDonald, Kirk T. "Laser tweezers", Am. J. Phys., 68 (5), 486- (2000).

Biosensors, NanoBio, etc.

Molecular engineering of nanosystems / Edward A. Rietman Publisher New York : Springer, 2001

Nanotechnology / Gregory Timp, editor, New York : Springer, 1999

Molecular electronics : science and technology
, edited by Ari Aviram and Mark Ratner, New York : New York Academy of Sciences, 1998

Introduction to bioanalytical sensors
, Alice J. Cunningham New York : Wiley, 1998.

Molecular electronics
, edited by J. Jortner and M. Ratner, Osney Mead, Oxford [England] ; Malden, MA, USA : Blackwell Science, 1997

Nanofabrication and biosystems : integrating materials science, engineering, and biology
, edited by Harvey C. Hoch, Lynn W. Jelinski, Harold G. Craighead , Cambridge [England] ; Cambridge University Press, 1996

Biosensors : an introduction, Brian R. Eggins, Chichester ; New York : Wiley-Teubner, 1996.

An introduction to molecular electronics, edited by Michael C. Petty, Martin R. Bryce, and David Bloor, New York : Oxford University Press, 1995.

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Biological Physics Laboratories

Johns Hopkins Biological Physics Labs

MIT's Bioengineering Labs (20.109, .309) Open Courseware

Caltech:  Physical Biology of the Cell Lab

U.C. Berkeley's Physics Advanced Lab (has several nice biological labs)

Please send links to others!


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Last update July 30, 2003
This page is maintained by Kim Minor