is a Polymer?
Polymer comes from the Greek word "poly"which
means many and "meros" which means "parts."
A polymer is a solid non-metallic material with a very large molecular weight. It
is made up of a long string of many similar chemical units which are linked together
by covalent bonds.
Organic polymers are derived from plants and animals and they include materials such
as wood, rubber, cotton, wool, leather and silk. DNA and RNA are also polymers. Scientists
have created many synthetic polymers. The familiar plastic and rubber materials you
use every day are polymers.
Most scientists doing research in the field of Materials Science and Engineering
are doing work with polymers. A lot of the work is being done at the nanometer
scale. Can you imagine a computer on sheet of plastic that you can store in your
notebook? Electronics on plastic is already a reality but much more is yet to be
developed and you can be part of it!
Callister, William D.Jr., Materials Science and Engineering. An Introduction.
New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.,1994.
Young, R.J. Introduction to Polymers . London: Chapman & Hall, 1994.