Statistical mechanics and topology of polymer systems

Grant number: DE170100186 | Funding period: 2017 - 2020

Completed

Abstract

This project aims to study the behaviour of systems of long polymers in solution, and the effects of temperature, solvent and other environmental properties. Polymer models capture important physical properties of real-world molecules like DNA. This project will study the topology of polymer chains in tightly confined spaces. Knots and links hinder important biological processes like DNA replication, and this project will research how entanglement forms and how the biological mechanisms are used to manage it. The project is expected to have both important biological consequences and to enhance Australia's position as a centre for research in statistical mechanics.