Polymers and monomers in chemistry HELP PLEASE!!

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Tx ox
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I’m trying to do my chemistry homework and I am really confused as to how they work. How does a monomer turn to a polymer and what exactly even are they and how do they occur. And if I was given a question for example to show the displayed formula of polystyrene as a monomer and a polymer?
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username4933904
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(Original post by Tx ox)
I’m trying to do my chemistry homework and I am really confused as to how they work. How does a monomer turn to a polymer and what exactly even are they and how do they occur. And if I was given a question for example to show the displayed formula of polystyrene as a monomer and a polymer?
think of a monomer as a piece of lego and the polymer a chain of those legos stuck together.

Now let's think of polystyrene:

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Tx ox
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But how come they just suddenly become longer
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username4933904
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(Original post by Tx ox)
But how come they just suddenly become longer
they don't you need the right conditions e.g. for polyethylene - it is obtained when ethene is subjected to a temperature of about 200° C, a pressure of 2,000 atmospheres and a small amount of oxygen as an impurity, which also acts as an initiator. In those conditions the double bond of the alkene is overcome and new single (sigma) bonds form.

It is called an addition reaction.

Others are easier to do e.g. polypeptides / polyamides or polyesters are formed by condensation reactions
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bfm.mcdermott
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(Original post by Tx ox)
But how come they just suddenly become longer
There is an addition reaction which forms a bond between them.
For example:
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Here, in the monomer (ethene), there is a double bond.
In the addition reaction (which only occurs in certain conditions), the double bonds break so that bonds between the monomers can form to produce a polymer (shown as polyethene).

This is addition polymerisation.
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Tx ox
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Okay thanks guys 👍🏾👍🏾
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