© 2018

Statistical Physics for Biological Matter

  • Provides detailed derivations of the basic concepts for applications to biological matter and phenomena

  • Covers a broad biologically relevant topics of statistical physics, including thermodynamics, equilibrium statistical mechanics, soft matter physics of polymers and membranes, non-equilibrium statistical physics covering stochastic processes, transport phenomena, hydrodynamics, etc

  • Contains worked examples and problems with some solutions


Part of the Graduate Texts in Physics book series (GTP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Wokyung Sung
    Pages 121-142
  3. Wokyung Sung
    Pages 219-239
  4. Wokyung Sung
    Pages 241-268
  5. Wokyung Sung
    Pages 363-390

About this book


This textbook covers a broad range of topics in statistical physics, including statistical mechanics (equilibrium and non-equilibrium), soft matter and fluid physics, for applications to biological phenomena at both cellular and macromolecular levels. 

Typical statistical physics courses cover ideal gases (classical and quantum) and interacting units of simple structures. In contrast, even simple biological fluids are solutions of macromolecules, the structures of which are very complex. This book fills this wide gap by providing appropriate content as well as by explaining the theoretical method that typifies good modeling, namely, the method of coarse-grained descriptions that extract the most salient features emerging at mesoscopic scales. The major topics covered in this book include thermodynamics, equilibrium statistical mechanics, soft matter physics of polymers and membranes, non-equilibrium statistical physics covering stochastic processes, transport phenomena and hydrodynamics.

Generic methods and theories are described with detailed derivations, followed by applications and examples in biology. By systematically and coherently covering the basic principles, this book helps the readers to build up their understanding of nonspecific concepts and theoretical methods, which they may be able to apply to a broader class of biological problems. 

While intended as a graduate level textbook, it can also address the interested senior level undergraduate. In addition, it is suitable for those involved in research on biological systems or soft matter based on physics, particularly on statistical physics.


Bio-Inspired Statistical Physics Bio-Statistical Physics Biological Dynamics Biologically Inspired Statistical Physics Statistical Biophysics Statistical Physics Biological Systems Statistical Physics of Self-Assembly textbook Statistical Biophysics textbook biological soft matter

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsPohang University of Science and TechnologyPohangKorea (Republic of)

About the authors

Wokyung Sung is Professor Emeritus at Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH), where he taught and researched in the fields of statistical physics and biological physics for about 30 years. He obtained his Bachelor of Science at Seoul National University and PhD at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He has been working mostly on a variety of biological matter and processes at the mesoscopic level, using statistical physics of soft matter and stochastic phenomena. In particular, he pioneered the theory of polymer translocation through membranes, engendering a whole new field in biological or polymer physics. He is a member of the Journal of Biological Physics editorial board and an Editor-in-Chief in the period 2007–2009. For his seminal contributions to science and in particular to statistical/biological physics, Prof. Sung was awarded a Medal of Science and Technology bestowed by the Korean Government in 2010. He also served as a director of Center for Theoretical Physics at POSTECH, and the Distinguished Research Fellow at Center for Self-Assembly and Complexity, Institute of Basic Science, in Pohang. Professor Sung was a visiting a scientist and professor at Oxford University, the Jülich Research Center, University of Pennsylvania, and Brown University.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors