2nd Edition

Biophysics Tools and Techniques for the Physics of Life

By Mark C. Leake Copyright 2024
    456 Pages 20 Color & 38 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    456 Pages 20 Color & 38 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    456 Pages 20 Color & 38 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Biophysics: Tools and Techniques for the Physics of Life covers the experimental, theoretical, and computational tools and techniques of biophysics. It addresses the purpose, science, and application of all physical science instrumentation, theoretical analysis, and biophysical computational methods used in current research labs.

    The book first presents the historical background, concepts, and motivation for using a physical science toolbox to understand biology. It then familiarizes undergraduate students from the physical sciences with essential biological knowledge.

    The text subsequently focuses on experimental biophysical techniques that primarily detect biological components or measure/control biological forces. The author describes the science and application of key tools used in imaging, detection, general quantitation, and biomolecular interaction studies, which span multiple length and time scales of biological processes both in the test tube and in the living organism.

    Moving on to theoretical and computational biophysics tools, the book presents analytical mathematical methods and numerical simulation approaches for tackling challenging biological questions including exam-style questions at the end of each chapter as well as step-by-step solved exercises. It concludes with a discussion of the future of this exciting field.

    Future innovators will need to be trained in multidisciplinary science to be successful in industry, academia, and government support agencies. Addressing this challenge, this textbook educates future leaders on the development and application of novel physical science approaches to solve complex problems linked to biological questions.


    • Provides the full, modern physical science toolbox of experimental, theoretical, and computational techniques, such as bulk ensemble methods, single-molecule tools, live-cell and test tube methods, pencil-on-paper theory approaches, and simulations.
    • Incorporates worked examples for the most popular physical science tools by providing full diagrams and a summary of the science involved in the application of the tool.
    • Reinforces the understanding of key concepts and biological questions.

    A solutions manual is available upon qualifying course adoption.

    1. Introduction: Toolbox at the Physcial-Life Science Interface. 2. Orientation for the Bio-Curious: The Basics of Biology for the Physical Scientist. 3. Making Light Work in Biology: Basic, Foundational Detection and Imaging Techniques Involving Ultraviolet, Visible, and Infrared Electromagnetic Radiation Interactions with Biological Matter. 4. Making Light Work Harder in Biology: Advanced, Frontier UV-VIS-IR Spectroscopy and Microscopy for Detection and Imaging. 5. Detection and Imaging Tools that Use Nonoptical Waves: Radio and Microwaves, Gamma and X-Rays, and Various High-Energy Particle Techniques. 6. Forces: Methods that Measure and/or Manipulate Biological Forces or Use Forces in Their Principal Mode of Operation on Biological Matter. 7. Complementary Experimental Tools: Valuable Experimental Methods that Complement Mainstream Research Biophysics Techniques. 8. Theoretical Biophysics: Computational Biophysical Tools and Methods that Require a Pencil and Paper. 9. Emerging Biophysics Techniques: An Outlook of the Future Landscape of Biophysics Tools. Index.


    Mark C. Leake holds the Anniversary Chair of Biological Physics, and is the Coordinator of the Physics of Life Group at the University of York. He is also Chair of the UK Physics of Life Network (PoLNET). He heads an interdisciplinary research team in the field of single-molecule biophysics using cutting-edge biophotonics, state-of-the-art genetics, and advanced computational and theory tools. His work is highly cited, and he has won many fellowships and prizes.