Biophysics of Nonequilibrium
processes and Evolution :

Graduate Course. Block 2, 2014 / 2015, Skema: A

schedule: Tuesday, 9-12; Thursday, 9-12, 13-15
place: Aud. B, Blegdamsvej 17
first class: Nov. 18, 2014 - 9:15 o'clock, Aud. B
Christmas: No teaching from Dec. 22, 2014 - Jan.2, 2015
exam: Jan. 22, 2015

Link to KU kurser page Link to Time and Place --> current handout and other material

Biological organisms are open thermodynamic systems with metabolism (food and breathing). Most processes are not in equilibrium. Thermodynamic forces and fluxes drive reaction under consumption of energy and dissipation of entropy. Such processes are irreversible. The understanding of non-equilibrium processes is important to analyze molecular reactions, protein function and metabolism in biology. This course introduces into the thermodynamics of irreversible processes and into the application of these concepts to elementary biological reactions (e.g. channel activities). Under certain conditions stable fluxes (stationary states) develop, or dissipative stuctures can form. Criteria for defining such states are formulated. Ultimately one arrives at the formation of chemical oszillations and biological clocks. In reproducing organisms, such oszillations can lead to reproductive cycles (hypercycles) that compete with other organisms. Fitness is a consequence of reproductive speed, error and death rate. Important key topics of this course are 'information', 'self reproduction', 'self organisation' and 'evolution'.
For physicists, chemists, biochemists and related subject after the bachelor.

There will be handouts that are sufficient for understanding. The following is recommended reading:
"Modern Thermodynamics: From Heat Engines to Dissipative Structures (Paperback) by D. Kondepudi and I. Prigogine"
- Selected publications by Onsager, Einstein and Eigen.

contact: T. Heimburg, NBI, Blegdamsvej 17, Kc9 - Tel: 3532 5389. E-mail: