up close and personal with polystyrene

Detail of a polystyrene molecule as it might appear in a good solvent. Each stick represents a bond between two carbon atoms. The distance between connected atoms is about 1.4 Angstroms. The backbone bonds may rotate freely. This structure was generated by a Monte Carlo computer simulation [Mondello, M. , Hyung-Jin Yang and R. J. Roe, 1991, Simulation at the University of Cincinnati using the Cray Y-MP at the Ohio Supercomputer Center, private communication.], which simulates the random rotations of the bonds as they might occur in solution. The simulated molecule has about 1/20 the mass of a polymer in a typical styrofoam cup.

You can rotate and play with this structure below by dragging your mouse across the image. To see the image below you need the Chime plugin. It can be downloaded from http://www.mdli.com. Bookmark this page so you can return here after installing the plugin.

Last Modified December, 1998