Monte Carlo approach to the analysis of the rotational diffusion of wormlike chains

Paul J Hagerman, Bruno H. Zimm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

255 Scopus citations


A Monte Carlo analysis is presented which establishes a relationship between the rotational diffusion coefficients and the flexibility (persistence length, P) of short, wormlike chains. The results of this analysis are presented in terms of experimentally observable quantities; namely, the rotational relaxation times for the field‐free decay of optical anisotropy. The pertinent theoretical quantity is R, defined as the ratio of the longest rotational relaxation time of a wormlike chain to the transverse rotational relaxation time of a rigid cylinder having the same axial length (L) and segmental volume. R, so defined, is essentially independent of the axial ratio of the cylinder for any value of L/P within the range of validity of the present analysis (axial ratio > 20; 0.1 < L/P < 5). It is pointed out that P can be determined with reasonable accuracy even in the absence of a precise knowledge of the local hydrodynamic radius of the chain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1481-1502
Number of pages22
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Organic Chemistry


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