Understanding Polymer Knots through Computer Simulations and Statistical Physics

Project: Research

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Knotting is a prevailing phenomenon that occurs in everyday objects and polymers, e.g. DNA and proteins. Due to the widespread presence of knots, extensive studies have been performed in recent years to understand the effects of knotting on many properties, such as polymer dynamics and biological functions of proteins. Addressing a wide range of problems related to knots requires a better understanding of the mechanisms of knot formation. In this project, we will perform simulation and theoretical studies to investigate the physical mechanisms of knot formation. We will perform Monte Carlo simulation for polymers and then analyze knotting properties. With the inspiration by the simulation results, we will develop statistical physics theory to describe polymer knots, mainly through the free energy of polymer knots. Mechanistic understanding of polymer knots gained from this project will facilitate the understanding of the effects of knotting in relevant biological functions and rheological properties.


Project number7005266
Grant typeSRG-Fd
Effective start/end date1/09/19 → …