Supervisor: Dr Daniel Read
Phone: +44 (0)113 3435124
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 "self-avoiding random walks", which is a
random walk that does not cross itself. This self-avoidance 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 self-avoiding walks
can be simulated in this way. The aim of this project is to write and use some simple
computer code to simulate self-avoiding random walks on a lattice. How far we get will
depend on prior programming experience (which will be taken into account!).
Rubinstein, M.; Colby, R.H.: Polymer Physics Oxford Univ. Press,
Vanderzande, C.: Lattice models of polymers Cambridge Univ.