Supervisor: Dr Daniel Read
Email: d.j.read@leeds.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0)113 3435124
Office: 8.19j
Polymers are long chain molecules made by joining together many (thousands or more)
similar chemical units. The simplest model for the shape of a polymer is a random walk,
in which each step along the chain chooses a direction independently of all the others.
Isolated chains in a good solvent execute "selfavoiding random walks", which is a
random walk that does not cross itself. This selfavoidance leads to different scaling of
the size of the chain as a function of the number of chamical units in the chain.
One of the simplest ways of modelling the shapes of a polymer molecule is to simulate a
random walk on a regular lattice (i.e. each unit is placed at a lattice point rather than
at some continuous position in space). Both simple random walks and selfavoiding walks
can be simulated in this way. The aim of this project is to write and use some simple
computer code to simulate selfavoiding random walks on a lattice. How far we get will
depend on prior programming experience (which will be taken into account!).
Books
Rubinstein, M.; Colby, R.H.: Polymer Physics Oxford Univ. Press,
2003
Vanderzande, C.: Lattice models of polymers Cambridge Univ.
Press, 1998
