Biophysics is a new way of looking at living matter. It uses quantitative experimental and theoretical methods to open a new window for studying and understanding life processes.
This textbook gives compact introductions to the basics of the field, including molecular cell biology and statistical physics. It then presents in-depth discussions of more advanced biophysics subjects, progressing to state-of-the-art experiments and their theoretical interpretations.
The book is unique by offering a general introduction to biophysics, yet at the same time restricting itself to processes that occur inside the cell nucleus and that involve biopolymers (DNA, RNA, and proteins). This allows for an accessible read for beginners and a springboard for specialists who wish to continue their study in more detail.
Helmut Schiessel studied physics at the Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany. There he did his PhD with Prof. A. Blumen in the Group for Theoretical Polymer Physics. After graduating in 1997, he worked as a postdoc with Prof. P.A. Pincus at the Materials Research Laboratory, University of California, Santa Barbara. He then was a joint postdoc with Prof. W. M. Gelbart at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and with Prof. R. Bruinsma at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, both at the University of California, Los Angeles. He joined the Theory Group of the Max-Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz in 2000, where he was in charge of a biophysics research project. In parallel, he received his habilitation in theoretical physics from the Physics Department of the University of Konstanz, Germany, in 2004. Since January 2005, Prof. Schiessel has been heading the chair of Theoretical Physics of Life Processes in the Instituut-Lorentz at Leiden University, the Netherlands.