Thursday, June 20, 2013

1306.4600 (Payam Rowghanian et al.)

Propagation of Tension along a Polymer Chain    [PDF]

Payam Rowghanian, Alexander Y. Grosberg
We study the propagation of tension caused by an external force along a long polymeric molecule in two different settings, namely along a free polymer in 3d space being pulled from one end, and along a pre-stretched circular polymer, confined in a narrow circular tube. We show that in both cases, the tension propagation is governed by a diffusion equation, and in particular, the tension front propagates as $t^{1/2}$ along the contour of the chain. The results are confirmed numerically, and by molecular dynamics simulations in the case of the 3d polymer. We also compare our results with the previously suggested ones for the translocation setting, and discuss why tension propagation is slower in that case.
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