8.592J | Spring 2011 | Graduate

Statistical Physics in Biology

Lecture Notes

Ionic Interactions

  1. Ionic solutions:
    • Why do electrolytes dissociate (ionize) in water?
    • The bare Coulomb interaction and the Bjerrum length
    • Acids, bases, and salts
    • The importance of Coulomb repulsion in biological systems
    • Macroions, counterions, salt ions
    • Restricted partition function
  2. Statistical treatments of ionic solutions:
    • ‘Mean-field’ potential and charge density via the self-consistent Poisson-Boltzmann equation
    • Screening in salt solutions
    • Dissociation from a charged membrane
      • Solution of the 1d equation
      • The Gouy-Chapman layer
    • Interaction between charged parallel plates
    • Importance of fluctuations; like charges can attract

(Detailed Lecture Notes (PDF))

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Spring 2011
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