This book is mainly concerned with building a narrow but secure ladder which polymer chemists or engineers can climb from the primary level to an advanced level without great difficulty (but by no means easily, either).
This book describes some fundamentally important topics, carefully chosen, covering subjects from thermodynamics to molecular weight and its distribution effects. For help in self-education the book adopts a "Questions and Answers" format. The mathematical derivation of each equation is shown in detail. For further reading, some original references are also given.
Numerous physical properties of polymer solutions are known to be significantly different from those of low molecular weight solutions. The most probable explanation of this obvious discrepancy is the large molar volume ratio of solute to solvent together with the large number of consecutive segments that constitute each single molecule of the polymer chains present as solute. Thorough understanding of the physical chemistry of polymer solutions requires some prior mathematical background in its students. In the original literature, detailed mathematical derivations of the equations are universally omitted for the sake of space-saving and simplicity. In textbooks of polymer science only extremely rough schemes of the theories and then the final equations are shown. As a consequence, the student cannot learn, unaided, the details of the theory in which he or she is interested from the existing textbooks; however, without a full understanding of the theory, one cannot analyze actual experimental data to obtain more basic and realistic physical quantities. In particular, if one intends to apply the theories in industry, accurate understanding and ability to modify the theory are essential.