Physical Chemistry for Biosciences

BCHM 320/420
Taught in
Spring 2021, Fall 2018
Course Level
Graduate, Undergraduate
Lifelong Support

Course Description

This course is designed to present the principles of physical chemistry that govern molecular structure and chemical reactivity in biochemical systems and the methods used for their investigation. Topics include solution thermodynamics, kinetics and equilibria, quantum mechanics and modern spectroscopic techniques, and their application for the study of structure and functioning of biomolecules. The course will focus on the answering questions such as,

  • How do we know whether a (bio-) chemical reaction will occur?”
  • “How fast will it go?”
  • “Will it consume or produce energy?”
  • “Why do atoms stick together to form molecules?”
  • “How do we determine and understand structures of biomolecules?”

The course requires one year each of general chemistry and organic chemistry (CHEM 101, 202, 211, 212) as well as MATH 217 and 231. BIOL 301 is recommended.

Required Text

  • Atkins, P., & de Paula, J. (2011). Physical chemistry for the life sciences (2nd ed.). [(ISBN-13: 978-1-4292-3114-5; ISBN-10: 1-4292-3114-9)]. Oxford University Press