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Crash Course: Polymers
Image: iStockphoto.com/sandramo

Crash Course: Polymers

The modern world wouldn't seem so modern without polymers. Plastics, rubber, spandex, polyester, and nylon are polymers, for example. But silk, leather, and DNA are polymers, too.

Polymers are molecules made up of chains of smaller molecules — chains often millions of molecules long. You'll find lots more about polymers here.

Crash Course Chemistry
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‘Liquid Bandages’ Could Help Re-Grow Skin, Save Lives

‘Liquid Bandages’ Could Help Re-Grow Skin, Save Lives

Take a look at a promising new liquid bandage. Made from a sugar polymer, it may one day help people who've suffered serious burns grow new skin. More...

Video
PBS NewsHour
Make a Bouncing Polymer Ball

Make a Bouncing Polymer Ball

This site undersells itself. It does show you how make a bouncing polymer ball. But follow the links and you'll also discover how to make polymer slime, snot, and gunk. More...

Activity
About.com
Sandwich-Bag Dart Board

Sandwich-Bag Dart Board

Thanks to polymers, you can thrust a bunch of pencils through a sandwich bag filled with water...spilling only a few drops. Try it and find out why. More...

Activity
Discovery
Conductive Valley

Conductive Valley

Win a prize from the Nobel Prize website. How? By finding everyday uses for new kinds of polymers that conduct electricity. More...

Game
The Nobel Foundation
HowStuffWorks: Polymer Crystals

HowStuffWorks: Polymer Crystals

One pound of polymer crystals can hold about 50 gallons of water. No wonder you had them in your diaper (assuming your parents used the disposable kind). More...

Article
HowStuffWorks
Polymer Basics

Polymer Basics

Polymers are molecules made up of chains of smaller molecules — chains often millions of molecules long. You'll find lots more about polymers here. More...

Article
Polymer Science Learning Center
Polymer Chain Game

Polymer Chain Game

To play this game, build the longest polymer you can out of small molecules called monomers. But watch out for the decoy molecules, or they'll chop your polymer up! More...

Game
NanoSpace
Polymer-Based Products Quiz

Polymer-Based Products Quiz

Did you know that less than 1% of plastic bags in the U.S. are recycled, or that parachutes and pantyhose are made of the same stuff? Then you might do well on this polymer quiz. More...

Interactive
Discovery
Polymers

Polymers

Middle school students team up with Princeton University scientists to answer the question, "So what exactly is a polymer, anyway?" More...

Video
Princeton University
Real World: Self-Healing Materials

Real World: Self-Healing Materials

A saw cuts through a new kind of polymer; a bullet blasts through it. But almost immediately it heals itself. See how. More...

Video
NASA/JPL
Some Common Polymers and Their Uses

Some Common Polymers and Their Uses

To understand synthetic materials, you must understand polymers. Note when reading: poly(ethene) and poly(propene) are also called polyethylene and polypropylene. More...

Article
BBC
Watch This Weird, Gelatinous Material Heal Itself

Watch This Weird, Gelatinous Material Heal Itself

Could this new self-healing material one day keep your phone or tablet free of nicks and scratches? Take a look. More...

Video
Popular Science
What Is Plastic?

What Is Plastic?

String small molecules containing carbon together, and you’ll have plastic. Plastics are a type of polymer. As you’ll see here, you can even make plastic out of milk. More...

Article
About.com

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