This course will consider basic approaches to the theory of polymers. Topics will include the description of ideal polymer chains, interacting polymers in solutions and melts, polymer brushes, block copolymers, and elementary dynamics. Theoretical methods will include path integral formulations, self-consistent field theory, and scaling concepts. A familiarity with Statistical mechanics will be assumed. A detailed syllabus can be found on http://www.phys.washington.edu/users/schick
Student learning goals
To understand random walks and their relation to polymer configurations.
To understand the connection between polymer physics and critical phenomena, and between polymer physics and quantum mechanics.
To appreciate the immense combinations of architecture and functionality in possible polymer designs.
To understand some basic properties of biological polymers, such as DNA.
General method of instruction
There will be two eighty minute lectures a week.
Statistical Mechanics at the level of Physics 328.
Class assignments and grading
Each student will present a class presentation on a mutually acceptable topic in the last weeks of the course. There will be occasional problem sets which will also account for part of the class grade.
Sucessful completion of the problem sets, and mastery of the material presented to the class.