Polymer Science Learning Center
PAUL LEMUR'S EVERYWHERE...
Meet Paul. He's a ringtailed lemur, a small primate from Madagascar. Now he lives in a treehouse in the town of Polydelphia and explores the world of polymers. One of the first things he discovered here is that polymers are EVERYWHERE!
PAUL'S POLYMER BASICS
POLYMERS are large molecules. To the right Paul is helping to display a model of what just one little piece of a polymer might look like. The reason they are so large is because they are made up of many smaller molecules that are all stuck together like beads. The word "poly" in "polymer" means "many". These smaller molecules which make up a polymer are called MONOMERS. The word "mono" in "monomer" means "one". The picture to the left is the monomer that makes up the polymer above. And there's Paul's friend Monomer Mouse Lemur. Like monomers, he is also very small.
Even though polymer molecules are considered large, they are still too small to see, even through a microscope, because molecules are so small. Even though you can't see molecules, you CAN see polymers because they are made up of BILLIONS and TRILLIONS of these large molecules. When many similar molecules are all put together they form things like plastics and rubber.