 
Summary: Europhys. Lett., 55 (4), pp. 594600 (2001)
EUROPHYSICS LETTERS 15 August 2001
Smallworld networks and the conformation space
of a short lattice polymer chain
A. Scala(
), L. A. Nunes Amaral and M. BarthŽelŽemy
Center for Polymer Studies and Department of Physics
Boston University  Boston, MA 02215, USA
(received 26 January 2001; accepted in final form 28 May 2001)
PACS. 89.75.Fb Structures and organization in complex systems.
PACS. 05.10.a Computational methods in statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics.
PACS. 87.15.He Dynamics and conformational changes.
Abstract. We map the conformation space of a short lattice polymer chain to a network,
where i) the vertices of the network have a onetoone correspondence to the conformations
of the chain, and ii) a link between two vertices indicates the possibility of switching from
one conformation to the other by a single Monte Carlo move of the chain. We find that the
geometric properties of this network are similar to those of smallworld networks, namely, the
diameter of conformation space increases, for large networks, as the logarithm of the number
of conformations, while locally the network appears to have low dimensionality.
The physical properties of polymers are the focus of a lot of attention due to i) their role
