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As an example, I have seen the phrase "dynamics of proteins" or "dynamics of biomolecules".

The review paper "Protein Dynamics" by J A McCammon has the word in its title, but what does the author mean by "dynamics"?

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    $\begingroup$ -1. Within the first page, 2nd para of the review "IR probes can provide critical information on protein conformation and dynamics, nucleic acid structure and dynamics, ... which has been extracted from IR absorption, vibrational Stark effect, IR pump‚ąíprobe, and femtosecond two-dimensional IR (2DIR) spectra." It can be clearly noticed that authors are talking about vibrational dynamics by looking at their experimental methodologies listed above. I would suggest maybe going through the introduction of the review and then looking at the applications, then the details of the methodologies. $\endgroup$
    – mykd
    Jul 3, 2022 at 1:37
  • $\begingroup$ Or maybe elaborate or focus on a more specific query? $\endgroup$
    – mykd
    Jul 3, 2022 at 1:38
  • $\begingroup$ @mykd I really, really don't know why you have downvoted this. (1) Beginner-level questions are allowed and encouraged here, (2) I don't see the sentence "IR probes can provide..." anywhere in the second paragraph of the first page of the review", but (3) even if that sentence is really in the paper, how does it help answer the question? Nothing is "clearly" talking about "vibrational dynamics" to a beginner who doesn't know what "dynamics" means, and even if it was, then you're giving a circular definition of dynamics. $\endgroup$ Jul 8, 2022 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ @NikeDattani 1) OP changed the paper. You can see in the edits that initial linked review paper in the question was pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/cr3005185 2) Even if the question was on a basic topic, there should some at least some context or approach explained by the OP. Even in your answer below, without any proper context, you essentially have to deconstruct "dynamics" in terms of "static and dynamics" which still feels like circular reasoning. If see words "vibrational/molecular/electronic dynamics" I can try to explain that it is linked to study of X wrt its evolution with time.... $\endgroup$
    – mykd
    Jul 9, 2022 at 2:01
  • $\begingroup$ ...But there is no thought given by OP to that aspect. If there is such as a significant notational confusion, then I would recommend OP to check Mcquarrie, Frenkel, Tildesley & Allen. $\endgroup$
    – mykd
    Jul 9, 2022 at 2:01

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Unfortunately there's so many uses of the term "dynamics" that it can be hard for a beginner to figure out what it means, even if they're highly experienced in internet searches and dictionary usage!

It's the study of how things change.

Unfortunately every definition I see online, for example here, is less clear, so this is probably just learned over time by seeing it used in more and more places until you develop confidence that you mean the same things as others in your field, and they mean the same as you, when using the term.

The paper that you mentioned, despite being called "protein dynamics", doesn't actually use the word "dynamics" a lot, and doesn't define it, and doesn't use it until quite late into the paper. However they do mention the term "molecular dynamics", which does have a fairly decent encyclopedia article. I have also given my own (hopefully simpler and easier to follow) explanations of molecular dynamics in these MMSE answers:

is the most popular dynamics tag on this site. Most of the time when you see the word "dynamics" in the matter modeling community, it will be in the phrase "molecular dynamics". There's also terms like , which is the study of how a quantum mechanical wavefunction changes, but this term is far less popular overall, and almost unheard of when studying proteins and biomolecules (which was the focus of your question). If you see the term "dynamics" in a matter modeling article with no indication as to whether the author is discussing molecular dynamics, quantum dynamics, electrodynamics, metadynamics, or something else, just remember that the author is most likely talking about something that is moving or changing.

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