Polymers are long, chain-link chemical structures that are the basis for a plethora

of modern materials used in home and industry. Many commonly found materials

are actually polymers, the most pervasive of these are the various kind of plastics

we use everyday, which are the product of synthetic or semi-synthetic polymerization.

The ability to control the types of atoms composing the polymer, their order,

the concentration and length of the formed chains as well as cross-linking between chains

allow the creation of materials with wildly different qualities such as melting point, rigidity,

plasticity, impact resistance etc'.

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The basic unit from which a polymer is made is called a monomer which can be as small

as a single atom or a very long chain of atoms. Polymers consist of long (usually repeating)

chains of linked monomers.

Good analytical predictions for basic qualities of a polymer like the radius of gyration can be found

using simple models like the ideal or Gaussian chain models.

As a computational approach, a relatively good starting point for modeling polymers

is the random walk. Random walks can be easily generated on a computer with rudimentary

programming skills, and the basic cubic lattice-based model can be developed further by adding

self-avoidance (to take into account excluded-volume effects) as well exploring different

types of lattices and different probability distributions for the generation of steps in the walk.

Some example data files were generated to demonstrate the new bonding mode added to AViz.

These data files are included in the package available from the main page and are also shown

below accompanied a short description.

This data file, rwalk.xyz
shows a single self-avoiding random walk. It serves as a rudimentary example of the new bonding mode in AViz. Generated using randomwalk.nb (Mathematica notebook). |
This data file, mul-walk.xyz
shows multiple lattice random walks with an excluded volume constraint. Generated using randomwalk.nb (Mathematica notebook). |

This lovely image is based on more realistic simulation data generously provided by the Theoretical Biophysics Group at Heidelberg. |

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