Summary and Info
The main goal of this book is to describe in physical terms the peculiar features of "machines" having molecular dimensions that play the principal role in the most important biological processes, viz., energy transduction and enzyme catalysis. Since these molecular engines work with thermal, chemical, and mechanical energy, the appropriate framework to discuss them comes from thermodynamics and chemical kinetics. The book thus begins with a review of the thermodynamics and chemical kinetics. It then discusses the notion of molecular machines, and in particular, the problems associated with applying thermodynamics to small systems such as enzymes. The authors then turn to enzyme catalysis, discussing theoretical and experimental investigations of protein dynamics. The concluding chapter deals with energy transduction in biological membranes, focusing on ATP synthesis.