Directed-polymer systems explored via their quantum analogs: General polymer interactions and their consequences

D. Zeb Rocklin, Paul M. Goldbart
2013 Physical Review B  
The impact of polymer-polymer interactions of various types on the thermodynamics, structure, and accommodation of topological constraints is addressed for systems comprising many directed polymers in two spatial dimensions. The approach is predicated on the well-known equivalence between the classical equilibrium statistical mechanics of directed polymers in two spatial dimensions and the imaginary-time quantum dynamics of particles in one spatial dimension, originally exploited by P.-G. de
more » ... nes [P.-G. de Gennes, J. Chem. Phys. 48, 2257 (1968)]. Known results concerning two exactly solvable microscopic models of quantum particles moving in one spatial dimension-the Lieb-Liniger model of contact interactions and the Calogero-Sutherland model of long-range interactions-are used to shed light on the behavior of the corresponding polymeric systems. In addition, the technique of bosonization is used to reveal how generic polymer interactions give rise to an emergent polymer fluid that has universal collective excitations. Additionally, the response of the system to topological constraints such as pins though which polymers cannot pass is explored. Immediately on the compressed side of a pin there is a divergent pile-up in polymer density, while on the other side there is a gap of finite area in which polymer density is negligible. Comparison of this response to that of a system of simply noncrossing (i.e., noncrossing but otherwise noninteracting) directed polymers, explored in a companion paper, reveals that generic interactions leave the structure quantitatively unchanged on the line transverse to the pin, and leave it qualitatively unchanged throughout the two dimensions of the system's extent. Furthermore, the free-energy cost associated with a pin that partitions a system having generic interactions is found to be proportional to the pin-partitioning cost for a system of simply noncrossing polymers.
doi:10.1103/physrevb.88.165417 fatcat:zo2ay3nzy5a2rksxsep5zorqke