Theoretical Biophysics

Responsible: Prof. Frank Jülicher

Hours per week (2 +1 h)



  • Physics of bio-molecules: Basic concepts of statistical mechanics,
    Mechanics of biopolymers, mechanics of DNA, optical tweezers and their calibration.

  • Physics of fluid membranes: Differential geometry of surfaces, bending energy,
    Gaussian fluctuations of membranes, entropic repulsion, entropic
    elasticity of membranes, persistence length, physics of vesicles and
    membrane tubes.

  • Stochastic dynamical processes: Random walk and
    diffusion, Langevin and Smoluchowsky equations. Correlation and
    response. Dynamic correlation and response functions of the
    harmonic oscillator, example: bead in optical trap. Fluctuation-Dissipation
    theorem. Stochastic processes in periodic potentials, Kramers rates
    over barriers. Discrete hopping models. Active processes.

  • Motor proteins: two-state model for motor proteins. Physics of mechano-chemical
    energy transductions, Collective behaviors of motor molecules in integrated systems.

  • Dynamic phase transitions and Spontaneous oscillations.