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Journal Article

Exploring the Physics of Basic Medical Research


Sandoghdar,  Vahid
Sandoghdar Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;
Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, External Organizations;

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Sandoghdar, V. (2024). Exploring the Physics of Basic Medical Research. Physical Review Letters, 132: 090001. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.132.090001.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000F-046B-5
The 20th century witnessed the emergence of many paradigm-shifting technologies from the physics
community, which have revolutionized medical diagnostics and patient care. However, fundamental
medical research has been mostly guided by methods from areas such as cell biology, biochemistry, and
genetics, with fairly small contributions from physicists. In this Essay, I outline some key phenomena in the
human body that are based on physical principles and yet govern our health over a vast range of length and
time scales. I advocate that research in life sciences can greatly benefit from the methodology, know-how,
and mindset of the physics community and that the pursuit of basic research in medicine is compatible with
the mission of physics.