Physical Biology of the Cell 1

Module PH2013

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of WS 2010/1

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

available module versions
WS 2015/6WS 2010/1

Basic Information

PH2013 is a semester module in German language at Master’s level which is offered in winter semester.

This module description is valid to SS 2015.

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 75 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2013 in the version of WS 2010/1 was Hendrik Dietz.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


  • Einführung: Was sind biologische Makromoleküle?
  • Makromolekulare Längen-, Zeit-, Kraft-, und Energieskalen
  • Makromolekulare Fluidmechanik
  • Makromolekular-Diffusion
  • Makromolekulare Assoziation und Dissoziation (frei/in Potentialen)
  • Dynamik/Gleichgewicht von Zwei-Zustandssystemen
  • Dynamik/Gleichgewicht bimolekularer Reaktionen
  • Enzymkinetik
  • Dynamik molekularer Motoren
  • Biopolymer-Mechanik
  • Makromoleküle unter Kraftwirkung
  • Makromolekulare Regelkreise (Gen-Regulation, Signalverarbeitung)

Learning Outcome

Nach erfolgreicher Teilnahme an diesem Modul ist der/die Student(in) in der Lage:

  1. Biologische Makromolekülklassen und die für sie relevante physikalische Umgebung (Zeit-, Längen-, Kraftskalen etc) zu beschreiben.
  2. Wesentliche dynamische und stationäre Eigenschaften von makromolekularen Zustandsänderungen sowie von bimolekularen Reaktionen, auch in Abhängigkeit von zusätzlichen Einflüssen wie z.B wirkenden Kräften zu erklären.
  3. Begriffe wie Entropieelastizität, Dissoziationskonstante, Übergangszustand, Übergangsrate zu verstehen.
  4. Modelle zur physikalischen Beschreibung makromolekularer Regelkreise (Gen-Repression/regulierte Rekrutierung, Adaption) anzugeben und zu erklären.


Keine Vorkenntnisse nötig, die über die Zulassungsvoraussetzungen zum Masterstudium hinausgehen.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Learning and Teaching Methods

Vortrag, Beamerpräsentation, Tafelarbeit, Übungen in Einzel- und Gruppenarbeit




  • J. Howard: "Mechanics of Motor Proteins and the Cytoskeleton"
  • P. Nelson: "Biological Physics: Energy, Information, Life"
  • R. Philipps: "Physical Biology"
  • U. Alon: "Introduction to Systems Biology"
  • M. Ptashne: "Genes and Signals"
  • L. Stryer: "Biochemistry"
  • B. Alberts: "The Cell"
  • E. Wilson: "The future of life"

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

In an oral exam the learning outcome is tested using comprehension questions and sample problems.

In accordance with §12 (8) APSO the exam can be done as a written test. In this case the time duration is 60 minutes.

Remarks on associated module exams

The exam for this module can be taken together with the exam to the associated follow-up module PH2014: Biophysik in der Zelle 2 / Physical Biology of the Cell 2 after the follwoing semester. In this case you need to register for both exams in the following semester.

Exam Repetition

There is a possibility to take the exam at the end of the semester. There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

Condensed Matter

When atoms interact things can get interesting. Fundamental research on the underlying properties of materials and nanostructures and exploration of the potential they provide for applications.

Nuclei, Particles, Astrophysics

A journey of discovery to understanding our world at the subatomic scale, from the nuclei inside atoms down to the most elementary building blocks of matter. Are you ready for the adventure?


Biological systems, from proteins to living cells and organisms, obey physical principles. Our research groups in biophysics shape one of Germany's largest scientific clusters in this area.