An overview of recent, previously unpublished experimental and theoretical developments in the field of the physics of membranes, including new insights from the past decade. The author uses classical thermal physics and physical chemistry to explain our current understanding of the membrane. He looks at the shift of interest in the physics of membranes based on the finding of cholesterol--rich micro domains and of various lipid--like second messengers. He also includes a discussion of the application of computer simulations on membranes, involving Monte--Carlo and molecular dynamics methods. For both students and researchers of biophysics, biochemistry, physical chemistry, and soft matter physics.
Thomas Heimburg received his Ph.D. in physics and his habilitation in biophysics both from the Physics Department of the University of G?ngen, Germany. He was a Heisenberg Fellow of the German Research Council (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in G?ngen and head of the independent research group "Membrane Biophysics & Thermodynamics". He was appointed associate professor in the Physics Department of the University of G?ngen. Now he is associate professor for biophysics at the Niels Bohr Institute of the University of Copenhagen and head of the Membrane Biophysics Group. His primary research interests are experimental and theoretical thermodynamics and spectroscopy of artificial and biological membranes with a special focus on cooperative phenomena in biomembranes.