Polymer Physics


Available soon

General characterization





Responsible teacher

João Paulo Miranda Ribeiro Borges, Maria Helena Figueiredo Godinho


Weekly - 5

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Available soon


 J.B.Ferreira, "Física dos Polímeros", FCT/UNL, 2004

P.J.Flory, "Principles of Polymer Chemistry", Cornell Univ. Press, 1978

R.J.Young, "Introduction to Polymers", Chapman and Hall, London, 1981

L. R. G. Treloar, "The Physics of Rubber Elasticity", Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1975

E. Hecht, "Óptica", Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisboa, 2012

Teaching method

The teaching of this unit involves three aspects: a theoretical formation on  the to pics of the syllabus, which  is the purpose of the  theoretical classes,  experimental work,  in groups, in the Laboratory, and  one  or  two  guided visits to  industrial factories working in  the  area of polymers. Emphasis is given to  the understanding  of the topics in the program  of the  unit.  In  the practical classes,  the students are asked to  discuss and  solve the problems proposed, in groups, with  the help  of the teacher.

Evaluation method

The unit has a practical component, leading to a mark NP, and a theoretical-practical component, leading to a mark NT. Both range from 0 to 20 points. For approval in the unit, with a final mark N, a student needs a mark of at least 10 points in each component. N will be given by 

N = 0,2 NP + 0,8 NT.

NP is an average mark obtained in the labs work evalution (report or individual quiz, which are mandatory), and NT can be obtained in two different ways: either by averaging the marks obtained in two written tests, or alternatively, it is the mark obtained in a final exam.

To perform the UC by continuous evaluation it is necessary that the grade of the 1st test is not lower than 7.0 values. Otherwise, the student is admitted to the exam, provided he obtained NP higher than 9.5 val..

The students must carry out all the lab sessions, otherwise they will be excluded.

Subject matter

Conformation and structural models of polymer chains. Statistics of the freely jointed chain, end-to-end distance and its statistical distribution, gyration radius. Equation of state of a polymer chain. Real chains in dilute solutions. Dilution: method of chain isolation. Intrinsic viscosity. Effects of the excluded volume. Good and bad solvents. Entanglements. Conformation of chains in solids and isotropic liquids. Thermodynamics of polymer solutions. Flory-Huggins theory. Dilute polymer solutions. Sol-gel transition. Rubber vulcanization. Theory of rubber elasticity.


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