Polymer physics is a key part of macromolecular science. This textbook presents the elements of this important branch of materials science in the style of a series of lecture. The main focus lays on the concepts, rather than on experimental techniques and theoretical methods. Written for graduate students of physics, materials science and chemical engineering, as well as for researchers in academia and industry entering this field, the book introduces and discusses the basic phenomena that lead to the peculiar physical properties of polymeric systems. After more than ten years since the first printing, the time had come for a revision and expansion of the book's contents. In addition to numerous minor modifications, this third edition includes some major changes: (i) A newly written chapter deals with conjugated polymers. The physical basis of the characteristic electro-optic response is explained, and the spectacular electrical conduction properties of conjugated polymers created by doping are discussed. (ii) Polyelectrolyte solutions with their special properties caused by Coulomb forces are newly treated in different chapters of the book dealing with ordering phenomena, viscous effects and the superswelling of gels. (iii) Since the basic understanding of melt crystallization has greatly changed during the last decade, the corresponding chapter was rewritten. It presents the new findings and interprets the discovered laws.

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