Mechanics and Thermodynamics in the Cell

This course is offered in Dutch. Some of the descriptions may therefore only be available in Dutch.

Course Objective

- To provide insight in how the basic tools and knowledge of physics and
physical chemistry (in particular mechanics, statistical physics and
thermodynamics) and mathematics can be used to better understand biology
on the cellular and molecular level.
- To be able to understand and build quantitative models that provide a
deeper insight in living systems.
- To provide insight in how quantitative data obtained from microscopic
imaging methods can be used to increase the understanding of biological

Course Content

- Biology by Numbers
- Mechanical and Chemical Equilibrium in the Living Cell
- Entropy Rules!
- Two-State Systems: From Ion Channels to Cooperative Binding
- Random Walks and the Structure of Macromolecules
- Beam Theory: Architecture for Cells and Skeletons
- The Mathematics of Water
- A Statistical View of Biological Dynamics

Teaching Methods

Lectures (4h per week) & Tutorials (2h per week)

Method of Assessment

Written exam + witten test on part of the course contents.


Phillips, R., Kondev, J., and Theriot, J., Physical Biology of the
Cell. 2nd Edition New York: Garland Science, 2012 (ISBN 0815344503).
(1st edition is also fine)

Target Audience

3N, 3MNW mi-BB, 3WN, 3S

Additional Information

This course is part of the Minors Biomedische Beeldvorming and
Bioinformatics and Systems Biology.Mathematics: Calculus & Mathematische
Methoden (or comparable)
Physics: basics of mechanics & thermodynamics

Recommended background knowledge

Mathematics: Calculus & Mathematische Methoden (or comparable)
Physics: basics of mechanics & thermodynamics

General Information

Course Code X_422589
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition Dutch
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator prof. dr. ir. E.J.G. Peterman
Examiner prof. dr. ir. E.J.G. Peterman
Teaching Staff prof. dr. ir. E.J.G. Peterman

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar
Target audiences

This course is also available as: