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Living States Physics Group

Living State Physics Archive

This site is an archive of the work of the Vanderbilt Living State Physics group.  Living State Physics merges research at the forefront of physics with exciting and significant biomedical investigations.  It is an interdisciplinary field that draws upon the tools, methods and theories of physics, biology, engineering and medicine, as well as computational physics and non-linear dynamics to increase understanding of biological systems and phenomena.

Physicists have already made significant contributions to medicine and biology, primarily in medical physics, which emphasizes the application of radiation to diagnosis, imaging, and therapy; and in biophysics, which is concerned largely with the properties and behavior of biological molecules. There are, however, innumerable, unexplored biomedical applications of physics. Hence, the term Living State Physics is both an excellent name for this broad field and an appropriate parallel to the more familiar field of solid state physics, which applies numerous techniques and theories to study solids. Living State Physics elucidated, as no other discipline did, living functions and mechanisms, biological states, and pathological conditions.

The Living State Physics Group at Vanderbilt utilized a three-pronged approach to solving problems of biomedical interest: the development of new instrumentation that ranges from high-resolution scanning superconducting magnetometers and high-speed fluorescence imaging systems to free electron lasers; the use of these instruments to make fundamental measurements on biological systems; and the development of analytical and numerical models that probe the depth of understanding of both the relevant biophysical mechanisms and the theories that describe them.

Beginning in 2000, the Living State Physics grouip expanded into the Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative Biosystems Research and Education (VIIBRE).  The VIIBRE web site presents the larger group's research since then.