Alison Rodger reviews this overview of biophysical chemistry

Biophysical chemistry (2nd edition)
Alan Cooper
Cambridge, UK: Royal Society of Chemistry 2011 | Pp244 | £21.99 (PB) |

Cover of Biophysical chemistry (2nd edition)

In biophysical chemistry we are seeking to understand the behaviour of molecules in order to understand the biological system. As biological systems are complex and dynamic, it is seldom the case that a single technique provides the answer to a given question. So the biophysical chemist needs to understand at least the principles and potential of a wide range of techniques.

Cooper begins his book with a brief introduction to the molecules of biological systems. The remaining eight chapters provide an overview of most of the biophysical techniques that are used today. Cooper has chosen to describe this important and potentially complicated subject at a level that undergraduate students can understand. However, he has avoided the danger of introducing errors by over simplification, so it is also a good starting point for graduate students and researchers in general who need to grasp the potential of a given technique before diving into the literature.

A combination of the text, worked problems and questions (to which answers are given at the back) enable the reader to test their understanding and will help them to use the techniques in practice.

Of course, one always wants more of a given topic when trying to master a subject and Cooper's style is very easy to read and understand, so I rather hope he considers a part 2 one day.