The Physics Department is housed in the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science (CCIS) on the U of A campus. Photo credits: University of Alberta
Our lab studies how single biological molecules like nucleic acids and proteins respond when mechanical forces are applied across the molecules. We use optical tweezers to apply force to the ends of a molecule, causing it to unfold and refold reversibly. The resulting trajectories of the molecule and their dependence on the applied force yield important insight into the thermodynamic and kinetic properties of structure formation in biomolecules.