Matter waves are of two types, which differ only in the direction of the vibration relative to the direction of propagation. In transverse waves the vibration is perpendicular to the direction of propagation (a plucked violin string, for example). In longitudinal waves the vibration is parallel to the direction of propagation (the pressure waves from a blast, or in front of a piston, for example). Most of the matter waves which are of interest here are, like water waves, a combination of both.
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Sound can be used as a familiar illustration of waves. Because hearing is one of our most important senses, it is interesting to see how the physical properties of sound correspond to our perceptions of it. Hearing is the perception of sound, just as vision is the perception of visible light. But sound has important applications beyond hearing. Ultrasound, for example, is not heard but can be employed to form medical images and is also used in treatment.
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One important question about vision has to do with the number of photons required for seeing. The question has to be refined, because an immediate problem arises in deciding where these photons must be absorbed. Do they all have to be absorbed in the same rod (cones are neglected, since we know they are used for high light-intensity vision)? Can a single rod effectively absorb more than one photon in any arbitrarily short time interval? Do rods or groups of rods cooperate in vision? Do they cooperate in experiments to determine the minimum number of photons that may be detected?
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Glycolysis begins with the six carbon ring-shaped structure of a single glucose molecule and ends with two molecules of a three-carbon sugar called pyruvate. Glycolysis consists of two distinct phases. The first part of the glycolysis pathway traps the glucose molecule in the cell and uses energy to modify it so that the six-carbon sugar molecule can be split evenly into the two three-carbon molecules. The second part of glycolysis extracts energy from the molecules and stores it in the form of ATP and NADH, the reduced form of NAD+.
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Quantum physics teaches us that we may talk about radiant energy as traveling either as waves in space or as discrete packages called either photons or quanta. When radiation impinges on matter, it has a probability of being absorbed which depends on (1) the energy in the photon (or its equivalents in wave terms: the wavelength or the frequency of the light), and (2) the nature of the matter.
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In aerobic respiration, the final electron acceptor is an oxygen molecule, O2. If aerobic respiration occurs, then ATP will be produced using the energy of high-energy electrons carried by NADH or FADH2 to the electron transport chain.
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One of the problems which perturb biophysicists is the reason for the size and shape of biological structures. In this category comes the question of why we have a concave retina. In the early 1800's, one Johannes Müller was trying to figure out the answer to this question, and in speculating on the problem he remarked on some interesting aspects.
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Metabolic pathways should be thought of as porous—that is, substances enter from other pathways, and intermediates leave for other pathways. These pathways are not closed systems. Many of the substrates, intermediates, and products in a particular pathway are reactants in other pathways.
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Heat is familiar to all of us. We can feel heat entering our bodies from the summer Sun or from hot coffee or tea after a winter stroll. We can also feel heat leaving our bodies as we feel the chill of night or the cooling effect of sweat after exercise.
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