Physics - Biophysics


  • Biophysics is a fascinating term for the biology researchers as well as for the physics researcher, as it creates bridge between these two subjects of science.

  • Biophysics (also known as biological physics) is basically an interdisciplinary approach to study the biological systems. It is uses physics technology to understand the biological systems.

  • Likewise, biophysics integrates all levels of biological organization, i.e. from molecular level to organismic and population level.

  • In 1892, first time Karl Pearson used the term ‘Biophysics.’

Subject Matter of Biophysics

  • Biophysicists study the life (basically human life); starting from the cellular organs (such as ribosome, mitochondria, nucleus, etc.) to organisms, and their environment.

  • With the advancement of technology, the scientists and researchers of both the disciplines (namely Biology and Physics) started exploring a different level of life to understand how actually biological system works.

  • The biophysicists largely research on the following types of questions −

    • How do the cells of nervous system communicate?

    • How and why do viruses invade cells?

    • What is the functionality of protein synthesis?

    • How do plants harness sunlight to make their food?

Advantages of Biophysics

  • The study of life at molecular level helps to understand many phenomena of a human body including various diseases and their treatment.

  • Biophysics helped to understand the structure and function of DNA.

DNA Structure
  • The study of biophysics helps to understand the various elements of bio-chemistry.

  • Biophysics also help to understand the structure and various functionality of protein.

Sub-Branches of Biophysics

  • Following are the major sub-branches of biophysics −

    • Biochemistry

    • Physical chemistry

    • Nanotechnology

    • Bioengineering

    • Computational biology

    • Biomechanics

    • Bioinformatics

    • Medicine

    • Neuroscience

    • Physiology

    • Quantum biology

    • Structural biology

Technology of Biophysics

  • Following are the major technologies used in Biophysics −

    • Electron microscope

    • X-ray crystallography

    • NMR spectroscopy

Technology of Biophysics
  • Atomic force microscope (AFM)

  • Small-angle scattering (SAS) technology