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Physical Chemistry Basics of DNA and Genetic Information

Module PH2154

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 SS 2017

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

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
SS 2020SS 2019SS 2018SS 2017WS 2008/9

Basic Information

PH2154 is a semester module in German or English language at Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Biophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics

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 PH2154 in the version of SS 2017 was Günther Woehlke.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


Energetic, thermodynamic and kinetic aspects of the following issues: information encoding in DNA; DNA topology and biological adaptations of topology; advanced topics of DNA replication and repair; gene expression and it regulation; genetic switches; systems biology of genomes

Learning Outcome

After successful attendance, the participants are able to judge the relevance of physical-chemical basics for storage, propagation and maintenance of genetic information. Attendees are able to categorize and understand current literature and problems of the field.


Biophysics in cells; advanced knowledge of molecular biology and/or genetics.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

Lecture, exercises and current literature.


Lecture/script; possibly presentations


Phillips et al. (2013) Physical Biolog of the Cell. 2nd ed.

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be an oral exam of 25 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using Questions concerning physical-chemical properties of DNA, and understanding of experimental observations.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • Causes and consequences of DNA bending stiffness
  • Response of DNA on torsional forces
  • Questions concerning the understanding of single-molecule studies on DNA and RNA

Participation in the exercise classes is strongly recommended since the exercises prepare for the problems of the exam and rehearse the specific competencies.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

Current exam dates

Currently TUMonline lists the following exam dates. In addition to the general information above please refer to the current information given during the course.

Exam to Physical chemistry basics of DNA and genetic information
Mon, 2020-09-21 Dummy-Termin. Wenden Sie sich zur individuellen Terminvereinbarung an die/den Prüfer(in). Anmeldung für Prüfungstermin zwischen Mo, 21.09.2020 und Sa, 17.10.2020. Melden Sie sich bitte nur an, wenn Sie die Prüfung verbindlich auch nach Lektüre der Informationen unter ablegen werden. // Dummy date. Contact examiner for individual appointment. Registration for exam date between Mon, 2020-09-21 and Sat, 2020-10-17. See for further information and only register after reading! till 2020-09-20
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