Physics of Living Matter

Prerequisite: a first course in statistical physics.

When and Where: Tuesdays & Thursdays 1000-1130, Feynman lecture hall, ICTS

First meeting: 8th August 2019


  • Homework 2 posted
  • Final exam on 28th Nov
  • No class on 29th Oct
  • No class on 8th Oct
  • No class on 19th Sep
  • Midterm on 26th Sep
  • Homework 1 posted
  • Usual class on 10th Sep
  • No class on 15th Aug
  • Note the change in class timings

Notes and Homeworks


References in biophysics


  • Basic phenomenology of living systems
  • Bionumbers
  • Statistical physics in biology: active particles, chemical kinetics, feeding by diffusion, membrane potentials
  • Molecular machines: molecular motors, polymerases, synthases, enzymes, ion-pumps, mitochondria
  • Macromolecular assemblies: polymers, membranes
  • Sensing and signalling: receptor-ligand interactions, MWC model, reaction pathways, physical limits to sensing
  • Hydrodynamics: Navier-Stokes, low Reynolds number flows, swimming, generalized hydrodynamics, active matter, physics of the actomyosin cytoskeleton
  • Pattern formation: morphogen gradients, Turing patterns, mechanochemical patterns

The 2017 edition of this course was taught by Vijay Krishnamurthy, with Amit Kumar and Alkesh Yadav from RRI/NCBS as teaching assistants.

The 2015 edition of this course was taught jointly by Vijay Krishnamurthy and Sandeep Krishna