Monday, May 18, 2009 - 10:45am - 11:25am
Dmitrii Makarov (The University of Texas at Austin)
In this talk I will discuss some of the problems arising in connection with the dynamics of polymers under confinement (such as proteins traversing transmembrane pores). Confinement often partitions a polymer's configuration space into distinct basins of attraction separated by large free energy barriers. Because of the predominantly entropic nature of such barriers, transitions between different basins often cannot be characterized in terms of dominant pathways.
Sunday, November 2, 2008 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
Burkhard Dünweg (Max-Planck Institut für Polymerforschung)
Polymers are prototypical examples of soft-matter systems. The talk
will first focus on equilibrium statistical mechanics, and introduce
basic concepts like the random walk and the self-avoiding walk. This
is complemented by a discussion of the notion of coarse-graining and
scale invariance, which is at the basis of modeling polymers in terms
of simple bead-spring models. The second part will then discuss the
basics of polymer dynamics, in terms of the fundamental Rouse, Zimm,
Monday, November 3, 2008 - 2:00pm - 2:45pm
Marcus Müller (Georg-August-Universität zu Göttingen)
In soft, coarse-grained models for dense polymer liquids, harsh
repulsive interactions (excluded volume) between segments are
replaced by soft repulsive interactions, which are sufficient to suppress
density fluctuations. These models allow to efficiently study polymer
melts with an experimentally relevant invariant degree of polymerization
by computer simulation. Two topics will be discussed:
(i) The calculation of free energies in self-assembling systems will be
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