Statistical Thermodynamics of Biomolecular Systems (BE.011J)

Illustration of how genes instruct the makup of proteins.

Genes are specific sequences of bases that encode instructions on how to make proteins. It’s the proteins that perform most life functions and even make up the majority of cellular structures. Proteins are large, complex molecules made up of smaller subunits called amino acids. (Illustration courtesy of the Human Genome Program of the U.S. Department of Energy.)


MIT Course Number

20.011J / 2.772J

As Taught In

Spring 2004



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the physical chemistry of biological systems. Topics include: connection of macroscopic thermodynamic properties to microscopic molecular properties using statistical mechanics, chemical potentials, equilibrium states, binding cooperativity, behavior of macromolecules in solution and at interfaces, and solvation. Example problems include protein structure, genomic analysis, single molecule biomechanics, and biomaterials.

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Related Content

Kim Hamad-Schifferli, and Linda Griffith. 20.011J Statistical Thermodynamics of Biomolecular Systems (BE.011J). Spring 2004. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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