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How Giant Molecules are Measured

When light passes through such molecules in solution, some of it is scattered. From this and other effects it is possible to determine the weight of the molecules and the degree to which they are folded

By Peter J. W. Debye

How Giant Molecules are made

New catalysts control the orientation of monomers as they are linked in chains. This greatly increases the range of properties that can be built into synthetic polymers

By Giulio Natta

The Mechanical Properties of Polymers

Solid polymer materials may be glassy, leathery or rubbery. These qualities can be explained in terms of the structure of polymer molecules and how they are organized in solids

By Arthur V. Tobolsky

Polyethylene

The simplest polymer bids fair to become the Commmonest. Until recently it could be synthesized only at very high pressures. Now with the aid of catalysts it can be made at low pressure

By Gerald Oster

Cellulose

This polymer is made not by man but by plants. Dissolved out of wood or cotton, it is reshaped into rayon and other artificial materials. Such materials still outweigh all those made from synthetic polymers

By R. D. Preston

Proteins

The principal substance of living cells, these giant molecules have identical backbones. Each is adapted to its specific task by a unique combination of side groups, size, folding and shape

By Paul Doty

Nucleic Acids

These polymers appear to carry the pattern of living matter from one generation to the next. Their basic chain consists of sugars joined by phosphates. Attached to the sugars, in turn, are bases

By F. H. C. Crick

Giant Molecules in Cells and Tissues

How are protein and nucleic acid molecules organized in protoplasm? It appears, largely on the basis of evidence supplied by the electron microscope, that these molecules are monomers of higher polymers

By Francis O. Schmitt

Departments

  • 50 and 100 Years Ago: September 1957

  • Science and the Citizen: September 1957

  • Letters

    Letters to the Editors, September 1957

  • Recommended

    Books

  • Mathematical Recreation

    Mathematical Games

  • Amateur Scientist

    The Amateur Scientist

  • Departments

    The Authors

  • Bibliography

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