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Concept# Polymer physics

Summary

Polymer physics is the field of physics that studies polymers, their fluctuations, mechanical properties, as well as the kinetics of reactions involving degradation and polymerisation of polymers and monomers respectively.
While it focuses on the perspective of condensed matter physics, polymer physics is originally a branch of statistical physics. Polymer physics and polymer chemistry are also related with the field of polymer science, where this is considered the applicative part of polymers.
Polymers are large molecules and thus are very complicated for solving using a deterministic method. Yet, statistical approaches can yield results and are often pertinent, since large polymers (i.e., polymers with many monomers) are describable efficiently in the thermodynamic limit of infinitely many monomers (although the actual size is clearly finite).
Thermal fluctuations continuously affect the shape of polymers in liquid solutions, and modeling their effect requires using principles from statistical mechanics and dynamics. As a corollary, temperature strongly affects the physical behavior of polymers in solution, causing phase transitions, melts, and so on.
The statistical approach for polymer physics is based on an analogy between a polymer and either a Brownian motion, or other type of a random walk, the self-avoiding walk. The simplest possible polymer model is presented by the ideal chain, corresponding to a simple random walk. Experimental approaches for characterizing polymers are also common, using polymer characterization methods, such as size exclusion chromatography, viscometry, dynamic light scattering, and Automatic Continuous Online Monitoring of Polymerization Reactions (ACOMP) for determining the chemical, physical, and material properties of polymers. These experimental methods also helped the mathematical modeling of polymers and even for a better understanding of the properties of polymers.
Flory is considered the first scientist establishing the field of polymer physics.
French scientists contributed a lot since the 70s (e.

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Polymer chemistry

Polymer chemistry is a sub-discipline of chemistry that focuses on the structures of chemicals, chemical synthesis, and chemical and physical properties of polymers and macromolecules. The principles and methods used within polymer chemistry are also applicable through a wide range of other chemistry sub-disciplines like organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and physical chemistry. Many materials have polymeric structures, from fully inorganic metals and ceramics to DNA and other biological molecules.

Self-avoiding walk

In mathematics, a self-avoiding walk (SAW) is a sequence of moves on a lattice (a lattice path) that does not visit the same point more than once. This is a special case of the graph theoretical notion of a path. A self-avoiding polygon (SAP) is a closed self-avoiding walk on a lattice. Very little is known rigorously about the self-avoiding walk from a mathematical perspective, although physicists have provided numerous conjectures that are believed to be true and are strongly supported by numerical simulations.

Polymer physics

Polymer physics is the field of physics that studies polymers, their fluctuations, mechanical properties, as well as the kinetics of reactions involving degradation and polymerisation of polymers and monomers respectively. While it focuses on the perspective of condensed matter physics, polymer physics is originally a branch of statistical physics. Polymer physics and polymer chemistry are also related with the field of polymer science, where this is considered the applicative part of polymers.

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