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We study the interplay between entropy and topological constraints for a polymer chain in which sliding rings (slip links) enforce pair contacts between monomers. These slip links divide a closed ring polymer into a number of subloops which can exchange length among each other. In the ideal chain limit, we find the joint probability density function for the sizes of segments within such a slip-linked polymer chain (paraknot). A particular segment is tight (small in size) or loose (of the order of the overall size of the paraknot) depending on both the number of slip links it incorporates and its competition with other segments. When self-avoiding interactions are included, scaling arguments can be used to predict the statistics of segment sizes for certain paraknot configurations.


©2002 American Physical Society. Original published version available at

Publication Title

Physical Review E





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