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Polymer Physics 1

Module PH2046

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of WS 2017/8

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
WS 2022/3WS 2021/2WS 2020/1WS 2019/20WS 2018/9WS 2017/8WS 2014/5WS 2010/1

Basic Information

PH2046 is a semester module in English or German language at Master’s level which is offered in winter semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Biophysics

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 75 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2046 in the version of WS 2017/8 was Peter Müller-Buschbaum.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This module gives an introduction into polymer physics:

  1. Traditional and modern applications of polymers: from plastics to functional materials.
  2. Nomenclature for the description of polymers and statistical models to describe the chain conformation.
  3. Methods for the characterization of the molar mass and the radius of gyration of polymers in solution.
  4. Phase diagrams of polymer solutions and blends: thermodynamic description, discussion of the free energy, construction of phase diagrams, description of demixing mechanisms.
  5. Mechanical properties of polymers: methods and moduli, creep, relaxatin and oscillatory experiments, viscoelastic polymer melts and cross-linked rubber.
  6. Electrical properties of polymers: conducting polymers, preparation, conduction mechanisms, applications. 

Learning Outcome

After succesful participation of this modul, the student is able to

  1. remember traditional and modern applications of polymers, 
  2. to understand the nomenclature of polymers, 
  3. to understand models for the chain conformation of a single polymer, 
  4. to assess methods for the characterization of polymers in solution, 
  5. to analyze phase diagrams of polymer solutions and blends, 
  6. to assess characteristic properties of polymer melts, e.g. mechanical and electric properties


No special preconditions are necessary, apart from those needed for the admission to the master program.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

Lecture, beamer presentation, blackboard, exercises individual and in groups


exercise sheets


  • M. Rubinstein, R.H. Colby: Polymer Physics, Oxford 2003.
  • G. Strobl: The Physics of Polymers. Concepts for Understanding their Structures and Behavior: Concepts for Understanding Their Structures and Behavior; Springer, Berlin; Auflage: 3rd rev. and exp. ed. (Februar 2007)
  • U. W. Gedde: Polymer Physics; Springer-Verlag GmbH; Auflage: 1 (September 2007)
  • J.M.G. Cowie: Polymers: Chemistry & Physics of Modern Materials, CRC 1991.

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be an oral exam of 30 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using comprehension questions and examples.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • Give examples of the chemical structure of simple polymers and their applications.
  • Give statistical models for chains and explain their differences
  • Describe a method to determine the radius of gyration.
  • Explain the phase diagram of a polymer blend
  • Compare the mechanical properties of a polymer melt and a polymer network.

In the exam no learning aids are permitted.

Participation in the exercise classes is strongly recommended since the exercises prepare for the problems of the exam and rehearse the specific competencies.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester. There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

Current exam dates

Currently TUMonline lists the following exam dates. In addition to the general information above please refer to the current information given during the course.

Exam to Polymer Physics 1
Mon, 2024-02-05 till 23:55 Dummy-Termin. Wenden Sie sich zur individuellen Terminvereinbarung an die/den Prüfer(in). Anmeldung für Prüfungstermin vor 23.03.2024. // Dummy date. Contact examiner for individual appointment. Registration for exam date before 2024-Mar-23. till 2024-01-15 (cancelation of registration till 2024-02-04)
Mon, 2024-03-25 till 23:55 Dummy-Termin. Wenden Sie sich zur individuellen Terminvereinbarung an die/den Prüfer(in). Anmeldung für Prüfungstermin zwischen 25.03.2024 und 20.04.2024. // Dummy date. Contact examiner for individual appointment. Registration for exam date between 2024-Mar-25 and 2024-Apr-20. till 2024-03-24
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