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Discipline concerned with applications of the principles and methods of the physical sciences to biological problems. Biophysics deals with biological functions that depend on physical agents such as electricity or mechanical force, with the interaction of living organisms with physical agents such as light, sound, or ionizing radiation, and with interactions between living things and their environment as in locomotion, navigation, and communication. Its subjects include bone, nerve impulses, muscle, and vision as well as organic molecules, using such tools as paper chromatography and X-ray crystallography.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on biophysics, visit Britannica.com.