Knots in Polymer Physics

Monday, September 27, 2004 - 1:30pm - 2:20pm
Keller 3-180
Alexander Grosberg (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
We report a series of computer simulations and related analytical studies of the role of topological constraints in the equilibroium properties of polymeric loops. We show that no-knots loops exhibit swelling similar to that of self-avoiding chains even when polymer has negligible excluded volume. We further show that global topology of the loop has a profound effect on the local fractal geometry of the polymer. For compact polymers, this leads to locally shrunken conformations. We discuss implications of these findings for a number of polymer systems.