8.592J | Spring 2011 | Graduate

Statistical Physics in Biology

Lecture Notes

Polymer Theory 2, Collapse, Random Energy Model

  1. Interacting polymers:
    • Entropy; excluded volume; and solvent-mediated interactions
    • Mean-field estimate of the partition function
  2. Swollen (coil) phase in good solvents
    • Flory exponent
    • Scaling behavior in other dimensions
  3. Compact (globular) phase in poor solvents
    • Polymer collapse, theta-point
    • Thermodynamic behavior at the transition; reduction in entropy
  4. Frozen (folded) state of heteropolymers
    • The Random Energy Model (REM)
    • The freezing transition and associated singularities
    • Designed REM as a model of protein folding

(Detailed Lecture Notes (PDF))

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Spring 2011
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