Introduction to Physical Polymer Science / Edition 4

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Updated and revised, it focuses on the role of molecular conformation and configuration in determining the physical behavior of polymers. New features include the amorphous and crystalline states of polymers; macromolecular hypothesis and historical development of photophysics and fluorescence; thermodynamics of blending polymers and polymer/polymer phase diagrams; a discussion of rheology plus gelatinous materials; and a variety of contemporary topics emphasizing surface, interfacial and electrical behavior of polymers, nonlinear optics and high temperature substances. Each chapter includes several classroom demonstrations and problem sets.
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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
This third edition of a text and reference for students and professional chemists, chemical engineers, materials scientists, and polymer researchers emphasizes the interrelationships between molecular structure and the morphology and mechanical behavior of polymers, and incorporates new findings in processing and characterizing polymers. There are new chapters on polymer surfaces and polymer blends, and new discussions of solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance methods, self-assembled polymers, scaling law basics, and hyperbranched dendrimers. This new edition reflects current research in polyolefins, thermoset plastics, pyroelectric and piezoelectric polymers, and supercritical fluids. Many new worked examples and study problems have been added for this edition. Sperling teaches chemical engineering and materials science and engineering, and directs the Polymer Laboratory, Lehigh University. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
New edition of a textbook, with three new chapters plus additions to old ones bringing up-to-date information on polymers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher
"Anyone in need of a basic text on polymer science would find this to be a very good choice, and it is highly recommended." (IEEE Electrical Insulation Magazine, January/February 2007)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471706069
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/7/2005
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 880
  • Sales rank: 785,341
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.23 (h) x 1.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Trained as a chemist, L. H. SPERLING is Professor Emeritus of both Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He remains active in consulting, speaking, and writing.
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Read an Excerpt

Today, there are two main divisions in polymer science: polymer synthesis and polymer physics. While these are often integrated in one textbook to make a one-semester course, more and more colleges and universities are teaching polymer science in two semesters, making textbooks devoted to one-half or the other highly desirable. From another point of view, students interested primarily in chemical engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, or physics often have little preparation or interest in synthesis, but a course emphasizing theory and properties is their meat. This book is dedicated to all of those students and faculty who are interested in the physical side of polymer science.

For a long time now, between one-third and one-half of the chemists, chemical engineers, and materials science and engineers graduates of all degree levels have been engaged in some aspects of polymer science and engineering. While this has been commented on many times, the reader is directed to C&EN, 77 (26), 57 (1999) for recent statistics. The question of who is really specializing in polymers hinges on who asks and who answers. Take a chemical engineer in charge of a certain factory. The question is asked, ``What do you consider your professional specialty? They may answer, ``I'm a process engineer.'' The questioner continues, ``And what do you manufacture?'' ``Why, we make polyester fibers, of course!'' Is such an individual actually a process engineer, a polymer engineer, or some of both? Similar questions and responses could involve a physical chemist researching the interfacial bonding forces in polymer blends. I have become conceited enough to believe that such individuals would benefit professionally by at least a course or two in polymer science and engineering.

Actually a new breed of scientist/engineer is emerging: those individuals who are being degreed directly in polymer science and engineering. There are now several departments around America offering this program. In addition there are over 30 inter-disciplinary polymer degree programs in America, focused on various centers and institutes. For example, at Lehigh University, we have the Center for Polymer Science and Engineering, offering the M.S., M.E., and Ph.D. degrees, with five departments participating: chemical engineering, chemistry, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, and physics. The departments of chemical engineering, chemistry, and materials science and engineering also offer an undergraduate minor in polymer science and engineering. Now, approximately one-half of all of the chemical engineering, chemistry, and materials departments around America offer at least one polymer course. Those interested in further statistics should contact the POLYED committee of the American Chemical Society.

A significant amount of new polymer research has been published since the second edition was finished in 1990, reflecting many key advances. The third edition has been given a general overhaul to incorporate these new findings, while deleting some outdated material. Many new example problems have been added throughout. Two new chapters have been added, polymer surfaces and interfaces, and multicomponent polymeric materials. With the added material, the instructor has several options. While it still is possible to teach substantially the whole book in one regular semester, the instructor may opt to emphasize one portion or the other to suit the student's interests and needs. Alternately, there is now ample material to provide two quarters worth of instruction.

Chapters 1 to 3 continue to be basic polymer science. Chapters 4 to 11 provide the bulk of physical polymer science fundamentals. Chapters 12 and 13, entirely new material, emphasize the new topics of polymer interfaces and multicomponent polymer materials. Chapter 14, about two-thirds new material, focuses on a range of modern topics, with some emphasis on applications. While this book emphasizes the subject of polymer physics, it is broader in outlook, covering aspects of polymer engineering and processing, materials science, and polymer history, while holding synthesis and kinetics to a minimum.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the many students who helped in proof-reading the various manuscripts. If I had to pay them even a nickel a correction, I would be a poor man! The result in each case, of course, is one fewer error that future students will have to endure. Many thanks must also be given to the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, as well as the Materials Research Center and the Center for Polymer Science and Engineering. Special thanks must be given to Ms. Andrea Pressler, photographer par excellence, who provided many of the figures for the book. Special thanks are also due Ms. Gail Kriebel and her staff at the E. W. Fairchild--Martindale Library, who helped with literature searching, and provided me with a carrel.

L. H. Sperling
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction to polymer science 1
2 Chain structure and configuration 29
3 Dilute solution thermodynamics, molecular weights, and sizes 71
4 Concentrated solutions, phase separation behavior, and diffusion 145
5 The amorphous state 197
6 The crystalline state 239
7 Polymers in the liquid crystalline state 325
8 Glass-rubber transition behavior 349
9 Cross-linked polymers and rubber elasticity 427
10 Polymer viscoelasticity and rheology 507
11 Mechanical behavior of polymers 557
12 Polymer surfaces and interfaces 613
13 Multicomponent polymeric materials 687
14 Modern polymer topics 757
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2008

    Technically comprehensive - poorly organized.

    As the 4th edition introductory book on physical polymer chemistry I feel the text lacked organization. Frequently, the author would reference material covered in future chapters that is necessary to grasp the current material. There are very few examples and many formulas, although correct, are mysteriously synthesized without any explanation. <BR/><BR/>It was obvious that much time was spent adding technical material and research results but not much time regarding the "flow" of the material. If you have a solid understanding of chemistry and do not mind jumping around the book, this text may be for you. If not, I would suggest seeking enlightenment elsewhere.

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