1,266 research outputs found

    Collapse transitions of a periodic hydrophilic hydrophobic chain

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    We study a single self avoiding hydrophilic hydrophobic polymer chain, through Monte Carlo lattice simulations. The affinity of monomer ii for water is characterized by a (scalar) charge λi\lambda_{i}, and the monomer-water interaction is short-ranged. Assuming incompressibility yields an effective short ranged interaction between monomer pairs (i,j)(i,j), proportional to (λi+λj)(\lambda_i+\lambda_j). In this article, we take λi=+1\lambda_i=+1 (resp. (λi=−1\lambda_i=- 1)) for hydrophilic (resp. hydrophobic) monomers and consider a chain with (i) an equal number of hydro-philic and -phobic monomers (ii) a periodic distribution of the λi\lambda_{i} along the chain, with periodicity 2p2p. The simulations are done for various chain lengths NN, in d=2d=2 (square lattice) and d=3d=3 (cubic lattice). There is a critical value pc(d,N)p_c(d,N) of the periodicity, which distinguishes between different low temperature structures. For p>pcp >p_c, the ground state corresponds to a macroscopic phase separation between a dense hydrophobic core and hydrophilic loops. For p<pcp <p_c (but not too small), one gets a microscopic (finite scale) phase separation, and the ground state corresponds to a chain or network of hydrophobic droplets, coated by hydrophilic monomers. We restrict our study to two extreme cases, p∼O(N)p \sim O(N) and p∼O(1)p\sim O(1) to illustrate the physics of the various phase transitions. A tentative variational approach is also presented.Comment: 21 pages, 17 eps figures, accepted for publication in Eur. Phys. J.

    Interacting Elastic Lattice Polymers: a Study of the Free-Energy of Globular Rings

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    We introduce and implement a Monte Carlo scheme to study the equilibrium statistics of polymers in the globular phase. It is based on a model of "interacting elastic lattice polymers" and allows a sufficiently good sampling of long and compact configurations, an essential prerequisite to study the scaling behaviour of free energies. By simulating interacting self-avoiding rings at several temperatures in the collapsed phase, we estimate both the bulk and the surface free energy. Moreover from the corresponding estimate of the entropic exponent α−2\alpha-2 we provide evidence that, unlike for swollen and Θ\Theta-point rings, the hyperscaling relation is not satisfied for globular rings.Comment: 8 pages; v2: typos removed, published versio

    Phase diagram of magnetic polymers

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    We consider polymers made of magnetic monomers (Ising or Heisenberg-like) in a good solvent. These polymers are modeled as self-avoiding walks on a cubic lattice, and the ferromagnetic interaction between the spins carried by the monomers is short-ranged in space. At low temperature, these polymers undergo a magnetic induced first order collapse transition, that we study at the mean field level. Contrasting with an ordinary Θ\Theta point, there is a strong jump in the polymer density, as well as in its magnetization. In the presence of a magnetic field, the collapse temperature increases, while the discontinuities decrease. Beyond a multicritical point, the transition becomes second order and Θ\Theta-like. Monte Carlo simulations for the Ising case are in qualitative agreement with these results.Comment: 29 pages, 15 eps figures (one color figure). Submitted for publication to Eur.Phys.J.

    Supercoil formation in DNA denaturation

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    We generalize the Poland-Scheraga (PS) model to the case of a circular DNA, taking into account the twisting of the two strains around each other. Guided by recent single-molecule experiments on DNA strands, we assume that the torsional stress induced by denaturation enforces formation of supercoils whose writhe absorbs the linking number expelled by the loops. Our model predicts that, when the entropy parameter of a loop satisfies c≤2c \le 2, denaturation transition does not take place. On the other hand for c>2c>2 a first-order denaturation transition is consistent with our model and may take place in the actual system, as in the case with no supercoils. These results are in contrast with other treatments of circular DNA melting where denaturation is assumed to be accompanied by an increase in twist rather than writhe on the bound segments.Comment: 4 pages, 3 figures, accepted for publication in PRE Rapid Com

    Facilitated diffusion on confined DNA

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    In living cells, proteins combine 3D bulk diffusion and 1D sliding along the DNA to reach a target faster. This process is known as facilitated diffusion, and we investigate its dynamics in the physiologically relevant case of confined DNA. The confining geometry and DNA elasticity are key parameters: we find that facilitated diffusion is most efficient inside an isotropic volume, and on a flexible polymer. By considering the typical copy numbers of proteins in vivo, we show that the speedup due to sliding becomes insensitive to fine tuning of parameters, rendering facilitated diffusion a robust mechanism to speed up intracellular diffusion-limited reactions. The parameter range we focus on is relevant for in vitro systems and for facilitated diffusion on yeast chromatin

    Topological and geometrical entanglement in a model of circular DNA undergoing denaturation

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    The linking number (topological entanglement) and the writhe (geometrical entanglement) of a model of circular double stranded DNA undergoing a thermal denaturation transition are investigated by Monte Carlo simulations. By allowing the linking number to fluctuate freely in equilibrium we see that the linking probability undergoes an abrupt variation (first-order) at the denaturation transition, and stays close to 1 in the whole native phase. The average linking number is almost zero in the denatured phase and grows as the square root of the chain length, N, in the native phase. The writhe of the two strands grows as the square root of N in both phases.Comment: 7 pages, 11 figures, revte

    Spinodal decomposition to a lamellar phase: effects of hydrodynamic flow

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    Results are presented for the kinetics of domain growth of a two-dimensional fluid quenched from a disordered to a lamellar phase. At early times when a Lifshitz-Slyozov mechanism is operative the growth process proceeds logarithmically in time to a frozen state with locked-in defects. However when hydrodynamic modes become important, or the fluid is subjected to shear, the frustration of the system is alleviated and the size and orientation of the lamellae attain their equilibrium values.Comment: 4 Revtex pages, 4 figures, to appear in Physical Review Letter

    Ranking knots of random, globular polymer rings

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    An analysis of extensive simulations of interacting self-avoiding polygons on cubic lattice shows that the frequencies of different knots realized in a random, collapsed polymer ring decrease as a negative power of the ranking order, and suggests that the total number of different knots realized grows exponentially with the chain length. Relative frequencies of specific knots converge to definite values because the free energy per monomer, and its leading finite size corrections, do not depend on the ring topology, while a subleading correction only depends on the crossing number of the knots.Comment: 4 pages, 5 figure

    Nonequilibrium Kinetics of One-Dimensional Bose Gases

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    We study cold dilute gases made of bosonic atoms, showing that in the mean-field one-dimensional regime they support stable out-of-equilibrium states. Starting from the 3D Boltzmann-Vlasov equation with contact interaction, we derive an effective 1D Landau-Vlasov equation under the condition of a strong transverse harmonic confinement. We investigate the existence of out-of-equilibrium states, obtaining stability criteria similar to those of classical plasmas.Comment: 16 pages, 6 figures, accepted for publication in Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experimen
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