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The Physics of Viruses

191 pages4 hours


The Physics of Viruses presents what is known about viruses from the viewpoint of a physicist. In so doing, a major aim has proved to be the description of viruses, their shape, and structure. Rather surprisingly, definite shapes and structures are emerging, and it is with a heightened sense of excitement that the hoped-for simplicity and symmetry are beginning to be found.
The book contains eight chapters and opens with a discussion of the nature of viruses and their relation to physics. Subsequent chapters present studies on the size, shape, and hydration of viruses; the effects of ionizing radiation on viruses, thermal inactivation of viruses, biological effects of ultraviolet light, sonic and osmotic effects on viruses, and virus genetics and multiplication.
The account given here should interest not only the physicist but that growing body of students who admit to being virologists as well. There is no doubt that the processes of viruses are in some way the processes of biology, so that the fundamental actions of biology may well be clarified by thinking about how viruses perform their work.

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