Models are intermediate way stations on the road to a complete theory of protein motions and protein dynamics. All roads lead to Rome and many models may contain some of the right ingredients for a successful theory. We can learn from nuclear theory, where apparently contradictory approaches, the liquid drop and the nuclear shell model, were both way stations to a unified description of nuclear dynamics. Here we describe some similarities between proteins and glasses, in particular spin glasses. This similarity does not mean that proteins are glasses but that essential physical characteristics are common. Since many more theorists work in the fields of glasses and spin glasses than in proteins, we may be able to borrow from their results or even entice them to join our efforts. On the other hand, proteins have the advantage of 3 1/2 Gy of R&D and there may be many experiments that can be performed more easily and more reliably with proteins than with glasses. The various fields consequently may be able to progress faster together than individually.


Spin Glass Activation Enthalpy Heme Protein Binding Rate Amorphous Solid 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Frauenfelder
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

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