Introduction to Physical Polymer Science 4th Edition
“So,what’s new in polymer science?”“Much more than most people realize!” Yes, polymer science and engineering is marching on as it did in the 20th century, but the emphasis is on new materials and applications. Two of the most important advances are in the ﬁelds of nanocomposites and biopolymers. The nanocomposites are of two basic types, carbon nanotubes and montmorillonite clay exfoliated platelets.The biopolymer aspects can be traced to such Nobel Prize winning research as Watson and Crick’s discovery of the double helix structure of DNA and an understanding of how proteins work in muscles. Computers are playing increasingly important roles in physical polymer science.Polymer chain structures may be made to undergo Monte Carlo simulations to gain new insight as to how polymers crystallize, for example. Polymer science was born of the need to understand how rubber and plastics work. This speaks of the practicality of the subject from the beginning. Today, polymers form the basis of clothing, automobile parts, etc.Yet, in fact, today we are seeing a shift from theory to new applications, to such topics as electronics and ﬁre resistance. All of these topics are covered in this fourth edition.There are,as the reader might imagine,many other topics demanding consideration.Alas,my goal was to create a readable introductory textbook, and not an encyclopedia! I want to take this opportunity to thank the many students who helped in proofreading the manuscript for this book. Many thanks must also be given to the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, as well as the newly renamed Center for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology,and the Center for Polymer Science and Engineering at Lehigh University. Special thanks are due to Prof. Raymond Pearson, who made valuable suggestions for this edition. Special thanks are also due to Ms. Gail Kriebel, Ms. Bess King, and the staff at the E.W. Fairchild-Martindale Library, who helped with literature searching, and provided me with a carrel right in the middle of the stacks
To all of the students, faculty, and industrial scientists and engineers who read this textbook, good luck in your careers and lives! Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
L. H. Sperling February 2005
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