“… Giant molecules are important in our everyday life. But, as pointed out by the authors, they are also associated with a culture. What Bach did with the harpsichord, Kuhn and Flory did with polymers. We owe a lot of thanks to those who now make this music accessible …”Pierre-Gilles de Gennes
Nobel Prize laureate in Physics
(Foreword for the 1st Edition, March 1996)This book describes the basic facts, concepts and ideas of polymer physics in simple, yet scientifically accurate, terms. In both scientific and historic contexts, the book shows how the subject of polymers is fascinating, as it is behind most of the wonders of living cell machinery as well as most of the newly developed materials. No mathematics is used in the book beyond modest high school algebra and a bit of freshman calculus, yet very sophisticated concepts are introduced and explained, ranging from scaling and reptations to protein folding and evolution. The new edition includes an extended section on polymer preparation methods, discusses knots formed by molecular filaments, and presents new and updated materials on such contemporary topics as single molecule experiments with DNA or polymer properties of proteins and their roles in biological evolution.