Conformation space renormalization of polymers. I. Single chain equilibrium properties using Wilson-type renormalization

Y. Oono, Karl F. Freed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A conformation space renormalization group is developed to describe polymer excluded volume in single polymer chains. The theory proceeds in ordinary space in terms of position variables and the contour variable along the chain, and it considers polymers of fixed chain length. The theory is motivated along two lines. The first presents the renormalization group transformation as the means for extracting the macroscopic long wavelength quantities from the theory. An alternative viewpoint shows how the renormalization group transformation follows as a natural consequence of an attempt to correctly treat the presence of a cut-off length scale. It is demonstrated that the current configuration space renormalization method has a one-to-one correspondence with the Wilson-Fisher field theory formulation, so our method is valid to all orders in ε = 4 - d where d is the spatial dimensionality. This stands in contrast to previous attempts at a configuration space renormalization approach which are limited to first order in ε because they arbitrarily assign monomers to renormalized "blobs". In the current theory the real space chain conformations dictate the coarse graining transformation. The calculations are presented to lowest order in ε to enable the development of techniques necessary for the treatment of dynamics in Part II. The theory is presented both in terms of the simple delta function interaction as well as using realistic-type interaction potentials. This illustrates the renormalization of the interactions, the emergence of renormalized many-body interactions, and the complexity of the theta point.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)993-1008
Number of pages16
JournalThe Journal of Chemical Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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