Biophysics (2020/2021)

Course code
Alessandro Romeo
Other available courses
Other available courses
    Academic sector
    Language of instruction
    Teaching is organised as follows:
    Activity Credits Period Academic staff Timetable
    teoria 5 I semestre Alessandro Romeo

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    Esercitazioni 1 I semestre Alessandro Romeo

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    Learning outcomes

    The Biophyics lectures are intended to spread the views of physics particularly regarding the study and interpretation of biological phenomena.

    Different aspects of both classical and quantistic physics are taken into consideration.

    The main objectives are to give the students the right tools to understand the experiments in Biology also from a physics point of view, moreover to give the basic knowledge for biophysical analysis es-pecially spectroscopy and microscopy.


    The course in 2020 will be held via Zoom, in streaming, with the possibility of reviewing the recorded lessons
    The lectures will be on the following topics:

    • Analysis of mechanical physics and wave physics.
    • Hints of relativistic physics.
    • Physics quantum-mechanical.
    • The description of matter in classical physics and quantum physics.
    • wave-matter interaction (with examples of biological systems)
    • subject-matter interaction (with examples of biological systems).
    • Optical Microscopy
    • Fluorescence Microscopy
    • Electron Microscopy (SEM and TEM)
    • Atomic force microscopy (AFM)
    • Absorption Spectroscopy (Visible, Infrared, Ultraviolet)
    • Spectroscopy in emission (fluorescence)
    • FRET
    • Scattering
    • Raman
    • Optical activity (linear and circular dichroism, optical rotation)
    • Mass Spectrometry
    • Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electron spin resonance (EPR)
    • Dynamic Light Scattering


    The educational material of the course consists of slides, handouts, articles and material for in-depth and reference.

    The complete teaching material is available on the e-learning portal.


    The course is based on the following books, however, the educational material provided is sufficient for the preparation of exam.

    Physical Chemistry Organic 2 (Atkins-De Paula)
    Principles of Physical Biochemistry (KE Van Holde)

    Assessment methods and criteria

    The exam will be an oral exam on the discussed topics.
    More specifically the following questions will be the major part of the exam: physical basis of the techniques, methodology, problems of the techniques, resolution, limitations to the resolution, measurement set up, analysis of the measured signal, description of spectrum and/or image acquired, practical applications of the techniques.

    It is possible to take the exam out of the fixed dates but always within the exam session time, by asking an appointment with the professor. In any case it is mandatory to register to the exam.

    Examination methods are not differentiated between attending and not-attending students.

    Reference books
    Activity Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
    teoria Atkins Peter; De Paula Julio Chimica fisica biologica. Vol. 2 Zanichelli 2008 9788808049858
    teoria Kensal E van Holde Principles of Physical Biochemistry (2nd Edition) Prentice Hall 2005 978-0130464279
    Esercitazioni Jewett & Serway Principi di Fisica vol.1 (Edizione 4) Edises 2008 978-88-7959-419-6