Metastable tight knots in a wormlike polymer

Alexander Y. Grosberg, Yitzhak Rabin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Based on an estimate of the knot entropy of a wormlike chain we predict that the interplay of bending energy and confinement entropy will result in a compact metastable configuration of the knot that will diffuse, without spreading, along the contour of the semiflexible polymer until it reaches one of the chain ends. Our estimate of the size of the knot as a function of its topological invariant (ideal aspect ratio) agrees with recent experimental results of knotted dsDNA. Further experimental tests of our ideas are proposed.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number217801
    JournalPhysical Review Letters
    Volume99
    Issue number21
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Nov 20 2007

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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