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How an Equation from Physiology Can Become a Model

  • James L. Hargrove
Chapter
Part of the Modeling Dynamic Systems book series (MDS)

Abstract

Students taking a first course in physiology or biochemistry encounter certain equations very early that typically evince a foreboding, if not outright terror. Memorable examples include the Nernst equation and the Henderson-Hasselbach equation; one remembers the encounter, not the content. And there were more to come: Poiseuille’s law of fluid flow and Michaelis-Menten kinetics, the Gibbs-Donnan equilibrium; one could go on endlessly. Let me confess something right now: I knew the feeling of terror just as much as the next student, because I was never sure how to take a logarithm of a sodium concentration, or whether the intracellular concentration of ion was divided by the extracellular concentration or vice-versa, or why the electrical potential was negative and the action potential was depolarizing.

Keywords

Sodium Concentration Rest Membrane Potential Nernst Equation Potassium Conductance Sodium Conductance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

  1. Berne, R.M., and M.N. Levy. Physiology, 3rd ed. St. Louis: Mosby Year Book, 1993.Google Scholar
  2. Hawking, Stephen W. A Brief History of Time From the Big Bang to the Black Hole. London: Bantam, 1988.Google Scholar
  3. Hodgkin, A.L., and A.F. Huxley. “A quantitative description of membrane current and its application to conduction and excitation in nerve.” J. Physiol. (London, 1952) 117:500–544.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • James L. Hargrove
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Foods and NutritionUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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