APPHYS 205 // BIO 126/226: Introduction to Biophysics

Core course appropriate for advanced undergraduate students and graduate students with prior knowledge of calculus and a college physics course. Introduction to how physical principles offer insights into modern biology, with regard to the structural, dynamical, and functional organization of biological systems. Topics include the roles of free energy, diffusion, electromotive forces, non-equilibrium dynamics, and information in fundamental biological processes.

Spring 2021

Course Meeting Schedule: TTh 2:30pm – 3:50pm (recordings will also be posted on Canvas)
Course Meeting Location: Zoom. (Link and password are available on Canvas.)
Instructors: Professor Benjamin H. Good ( & Professor Mark J. Schnitzer (


Lecture Notes (Molecular Biophysics Section)

Lecture 1: A tour of length, time, & number scales in biology (PDF)
Lecture 2: A crash course in statistical mechanics (PDF)
Lecture 3: Statistical mechanics inside the cell (PDF)
Lecture 4: Introduction to Brownian motion and diffusion (PDF)
Lecture 5: Diffusion as a signaling or transport process (PDF)
Lecture 6: Rate equations and chemical dynamics inside the cell (PDF)
Lecture 7: Rate equations II and introduction to chemotaxis (PDF)
Lecture 8: Bacterial chemotaxis (PDF)
Lecture 9: Kinetic Proofreading (PDF)
Lecture 10: Proofreading II and limits to evolutionary optimization (PDF)