I rather imagine, my dear Caroline, that your want of taste for chemistry proceeds from the very limited idea you entertain of its object.

Mrs. Marcet: Conversations on Chemistry, 1825.

Stu Whittington - Chemical Physics Theory Group

Research topics:

Most of my research is in the statistical mechanics of lattice models, especially as they relate to the configurational and statistical properties of polymers. I am especially interested in understanding the collapse transition and the adsorption transition in linear and branched polymers, using a mixture of rigorous statistical mechanics and Monte Carlo methods. The case of copolymers is especially intriguing, and one can consider both regular and random copolymers. For random copolymers one can ask about self-averaging --- ie for a given type of random distribution of comonomers, do most random sequences have the same thermodynamic behaviour? Copolymers exhibit a localization transition when they localize from a single solvent to the interface between two immiscible solvents. Currently I am exploring how polymers respond to an applied force (eg in an AFM experiment or when a polymer is subject to a geometrical constraint). I am also interested in finding ways to characterize the entanglement complexity of polymers in dilute solution, in more concentrated solutions, and in melts. This problem involves a statistical treatment of knotting, linking, and geometrical properties such as writhe.

Selected Publications

Research Collaborators:

E.J. Janse van Rensburg, York University, Toronto
D.W. Sumners, Florida State University, Tallahassee
C.E. Soteros , University of Saskatchewan
M.C. Tesi , University of Bologna, Italy

Journal of Physics A: Math. Gen.

Stu Whittington
Department of Chemistry
University of Toronto
Phone: (416)-978-5287
Fax: (416)-978-5325
E-Mail address: swhittin@chem.utoronto.ca