20.011J / 2.772J Statistical Thermodynamics of Biomolecular Systems (BE.011J)

Spring 2004

Illustration of how genes instruct the makup of proteins.
Genes are specific sequences of bases that encode instructions on how to make proteins. It’s the proteins that perform most life functions and even make up the majority of cellular structures. Proteins are large, complex molecules made up of smaller subunits called amino acids. (Illustration courtesy of the Human Genome Program of the U.S. Department of Energy.)

Course Highlights

This course features a complete set of problem sets and exams along with some computer simulation tools.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the physical chemistry of biological systems. Topics include: connection of macroscopic thermodynamic properties to microscopic molecular properties using statistical mechanics, chemical potentials, equilibrium states, binding cooperativity, behavior of macromolecules in solution and at interfaces, and solvation. Example problems include protein structure, genomic analysis, single molecule biomechanics, and biomaterials.

Technical Requirements

MATLAB® software is required to run the .m and .fig files found on this course site.

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Prof. Linda Griffith
Prof. Kim Hamad-Schifferli

Course Meeting Times

Three sessions / week
1 hour / session

One session / week
1 hour / session