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Goldstein Lab


Biological Physics and Fluid Dynamics (BPFD): Part III, Michaelmas 2023

Prof Raymond E. Goldstein

This course will provide an overview of the physics and fluid dynamics of living systems, with an emphasis on their mathematical description. The range of subjects and approaches, from phenomenology to detailed calculations, will be of interest to students from applied mathematics, physics, and computational biology. The topics to be covered span the range of length scales from molecular to ecological, with emphasis on key paradigms. They include:

  • Microscopic Physics: van der Waals forces, screened electrostatics, interactions of extended bodies;
  • Fluctuations & Brownian Motion: thermal fluctuations of filaments, interfaces and membranes, random walks and polymers (freely-jointed chain, semiflexible filaments);
  • Biological Filaments: differential geometry, constraints, variational principles, overdamped filament motion, instabilities and elastohyrodynamics;
  • Surfaces & Membranes: differential geometry, membrane fluctuations, shapes and shape transformations;
  • Cellular Motion: swimming at low Reynolds number, flagella and physics of low-Re propulsion, models of synchronisation, singularity description, swimmers in flows, surface-mediated interaction;
  • Kinetics & Pattern Formation: Michaelis-Menten kinetics, excitable media, front propagation, reaction-diffusion systems, chemotaxis and instabilities;

Examples Classes

  • 1: TBA, X November, 2023: MRX, CMS: YY:ZZ-YY:ZZ
  • 2: TBA, X November, 2023: MRX, CMS: YY:ZZ-YY:ZZ
  • 3: TBA, X November, 2023: MRX, CMS: YY:ZZ-YY:ZZ
  • 4: TBA, X January, 2024: MRX, CMS: YY:ZZ-YY:ZZ

Lecture notes

The complete set of lecture notes is now available, with hyperlinked references, all figure files and Matlab scripts.

Caveat emptor: these will surely contain errors and typos - so please let us know when you find them by emailing corrections to REG.