Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The building blocks of polymers

Though the shape of the monomer is the same, the actual shape of the blocks differ, so the monomer could come out looking smaller or bigger depending on the individual building blocks. Symmetry was inevitable considering the monomer itself was symmetrical so everything built on top of it would be as well. My polymer did not have much dimension as I only built upwards but I could have easily expanded by building perpendicular. Branching was a frequent occurrence because the monomer had small branches as well. There were many spaces considered "hollowness" in between blocks because the monomers could not be connected perfectly within one another. The shape of the polymer seems to be heavily reliant on the shape of the original monomer. Polymers were much harder to connect because connecting large blocks by one segment of a monomer often led to breaking.

Using the blocks to create monomers was definitely a form of play. By playing with the blocks, we found that polymers can be, but don’t have to be linear structures. They can take on a life of their own without you even realizing. The “polymers” we built today were made out of many of the same shape over and over again. Depending on the arrangement of the monomers, an infinite amount of distinct and different polymers could be made. You could play all day with your monomers and never have a repeated polymer. In real life, these polymers could react differently with other polymers based on the way they fit together.

Using legos to form monomers and polymers allowed us to conceptualize the concept of creating random forms to make polymers.

Building monomers and polymers with Legos instigates the ‘play’ portion. When we play with basic guidelines, and lot can happen. New and interesting patterns emerge that perhaps could not be done otherwise without a light and relaxed atmosphere.

As the monomers start to come together the form that it creates becomes more distinct and less of a combination of smaller parts. While in the beginning the structure is just a couple of simple 5 block or so pieces the structure starts to become more than a sum of its parts as the monomers take on their own patterns in how they fit together. originally there is a pattern in your head that you are trying to recreate in lego, but as you play around with the simpler monomers and try to execute on the idea, the original plan starts to take deviations of its own. The monomers fit together in ways that you don’t plan and can't ‘see’ until you actually execute the design and experiment and play around with putting the pieces together.

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