Biophysics: An Introduction – More than a decennium has passed since I finished the first English edition of this textbook – a long time for a rapidly developing science! A mass of original publications as well as reviews and books for each of the addressed topics can always be found on the website of the “Web of Knowledge.” Consequently, a full revision of all chapters was necessary, and a number of new results and topics had to be included.
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The long time it took in writing this textbook, starting from the first German edition in 1971, reflects an important period of development of biophysics as a modern scientific discipline. It was extremely fascinating to not only observe the progress in biophysics but also to follow the ups and downs of the crucial aspects of its development. At first radiation biophysics dominates. Later one biocybernetics, discussion about entropy and negentropy, extended Onsager matri- ces of coupled flux equations, dissipative structures, types of kinetic catastrophes, the paradox of spontaneous protein folding, etc. were discussed in extension. Biophysics: An Introduction
All of these approaches and ideas have eventually been well fitted into the complex system of biophysics more or less according to their real importance. It was not easy to decide on what really should be included in such an introduc- tory textbook, what should be the length of the corresponding sections, how should the plethora of new facts and relations be arranged, and what a student should essentially know to be able to understand the complex framework of biophysics. Biophysics: An Introduction
The author is aware of the subjective nature of these decisions. At present, biophysical research is mainly focused on molecular structures and processes. This has indeed proved important and helpful in the preparation of this textbook, as new results of molecular biophysics could be included in various sections of this edition. It should be noted, however, that the molecules
are embedded in a definite medium. Osmotic and Donnan-osmotic effects control the biological reactions and functions of these molecules. Therefore, the basic figures of “classical” thermodynamics should not be forgotten. The Nernst equation as well as all other basic equations derived by famous physicists – Planck, Fick, Donnan, etc. – still valid and indispensable even in modern research. Therefore, these are maintained in some sections and, in some parts, are compared with and are strongly oriented to actual applications.Biophysics: An Introduction
The increasing environmental consciousness worldwide during the last decades also enforces an extensive research on possible influences of physical parameters, such as electromagnetic fields and radiation, on biological systems and human health. This has been discussed in the chapter on environment biophysics, leading to its extension and new structuring. The enormous upturn of biological systems theory, caused by the abundance of analytical data as well as new methods of data storage and management, thanks to new computer techniques, required a full revision of the last part of this textbook. Biophysics: An Introduction
Earlier graphical methods to analyze data of compartment analyses are outdated and, hence, replaced by corresponding computer softwares. At the same time, some other approaches, for example, the “classical” graph theory of Leonard Euler, have become the new actuality in the age of fast computer techniques. This strongly promotes biological network analysis. This new edition could not have been possible without the help of friends and colleagues. I would especially like to thank Peter Hegemann and Andreas
Herrmann for their help with the chapters on molecular biophysics; Andreas Mo ̈glich for revising the sections on light; and Edda Klipp, Hanspeter Herzel, and Werner Ebeling for their help with the theoretical chapters. I also had many discussions and e-mail exchanges on problems of electrical properties of tissues and cells with my former coworker Jan Gimsa. The section of radiobiology has been written in collaboration with Ju ̈rgen Kiefer. I wish to express my deepest gratitude to all of them. Biophysics: An Introduction
Last, but not least, I would like to thank Springer, especially Jutta Lindenborn for her support and, particularly, for her tireless efforts in the preparation of this new edition. The proposal to use color prints, I think, makes the figures more suggestive and comprehensible.
Free PDF Books: Biophysics: An Introduction – 2012