- Radius of gyration
**Radius of gyration**is the name of several related measures of the size of an object, a surface, or an ensemble of points. It is calculated as theroot mean square distance of the objects' parts from either its center of gravity or an axis.**Applications in structural engineering**In

structural engineering , the two-dimensional radius of gyration is used to describe the distribution of cross sectional area in a beam around its centroidal axis. The radius of gyration is given by the following formula:$R\_\{mathrm\{g^\{2\}\; =\; frac\{I\}\{A\},$or:$R\_\{mathrm\{g\; =\; sqrt\{\; frac\; \{I\}\; \{A\}\; \},$

where "I" is the

second moment of area and "A" is the total cross-sectional area. The gyration radius is useful in estimating the stiffness of a beam. However, if the principal moments of the two-dimensionalgyration tensor are not equal, the beam will tend to buckle around the axis with the smaller principal moment. For example, a beam with an elliptical cross-section will tend to buckle around the axis with the smaller semiaxis.It also can be referred to as the radial distance from a given axis at which the mass of a body could be concentrated without altering the rotational inertia of the body about that axis.

In

engineering , where people deal with continuous bodies of matter, the radius of gyration is more usually calculated as an integral.**Applications in mechanics**The radius of gyration about a given axis can be computed in terms of the

moment of inertia "I" around that axis, and the total mass "M";:$R\_\{mathrm\{g^\{2\}\; =\; frac\{I\}\{M\},$or:$R\_\{mathrm\{g\; =\; sqrt\{\; frac\; \{I\}\; \{M\}\; \}.$

It should be noted that "I" is a scalar, and is not the moment of inertia

tensor . [*See for exampleCitation | last = Goldstein | first = Herbert | author-link = Herbert Goldstein*]

title = Classical Mechanics | place= Reading, Massachusetts

publisher = Addison-Wesley Publishing Company

year = 1950 | edition = 1st equation 5-30**Molecular applications**In

polymer physics , the radius of gyration is used to describe the dimensions of apolymer chain. The radius of gyration of a particular molecule at a given time is defined as: :$R\_\{mathrm\{g^\{2\}\; stackrel\{mathrm\{def\{=\}\; frac\{1\}\{N\}\; sum\_\{k=1\}^\{N\}\; left(\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{k\}\; -\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{mathrm\{mean\; ight)^\{2\},$where $mathbf\{r\}\_\{mathrm\{mean$ is the

mean position of the monomers.As detailed below, the radius of gyration is also proportional to the root mean square distance between the monomers::$R\_\{mathrm\{g^\{2\}\; stackrel\{mathrm\{def\{=\}\; frac\{1\}\{2N^\{2\; sum\_\{i,j\}\; left(\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{i\}\; -\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{j\}\; ight)^\{2\}.$

As a third method, the radius of gyration can also be computed by summing the principal moments of the gyration tensor.

Since the chain

conformation s of a polymer sample are quasi infinite in number and constantly change over time, the "radius of gyration" discussed in polymer physics must usually be understood as a mean over all polymer molecules of the sample and over time. That is, the radius of gyration which is measured is an "average" over time orensemble ::$R\_\{mathrm\{g^\{2\}\; stackrel\{mathrm\{def\{=\}\; frac\{1\}\{N\}\; langle\; sum\_\{k=1\}^\{N\}\; left(\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{k\}\; -\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{mathrm\{mean\; ight)^\{2\}\; angle,$

where the angular brackets $langle\; ldots\; angle$ denote the

ensemble average .An entropically governed polymer chain (i.e. in so called theta conditions) follows a random walk in three dimensions. The radius of gyration for this case is given by

:$R\_\{mathrm\{g\; =\; frac\{1\}\{\; sqrt\; 6\; \}\; sqrt\; N\; a.$

Note that, although $aN$ represents the

contour length of the polymer, a is strongly dependent of polymer stiffness, and can vary over orders of magnitude. "N" is reduced accordingly.One reason that the radius of gyration is an interesting property is that it can be determined experimentally with

static light scattering as well as with small angle neutron- and x-ray scattering. This allows theoretical polymer physicists to check their models against reality.Thehydrodynamic radius is numerically similar, and can be measured withSize exclusion chromatography .**Derivation of identity**To show that the two definitions of $R\_\{mathrm\{g^\{2\}$ are identical, we first multiply out the summand in the first definition:

:$R\_\{mathrm\{g^\{2\}\; stackrel\{mathrm\{def\{=\}\; frac\{1\}\{N\}\; sum\_\{k=1\}^\{N\}\; left(\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{k\}\; -\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{mathrm\{mean\; ight)^\{2\}\; =\; frac\{1\}\{N\}\; sum\_\{k=1\}^\{N\}\; left\; [\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{k\}\; cdot\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{k\}\; +\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{mathrm\{mean\; cdot\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{mathrm\{mean\; -\; 2\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{k\}\; cdot\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{mathrm\{mean\; ight]\; .$

Carrying out the summation over the last two terms and using the definition of $mathbf\{r\}\_\{mathrm\{mean$ gives the formula

:$R\_\{mathrm\{g^\{2\}\; stackrel\{mathrm\{def\{=\}\; -mathbf\{r\}\_\{mathrm\{mean\; cdot\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{mathrm\{mean\; +\; frac\{1\}\{N\}\; sum\_\{k=1\}^\{N\}\; left(\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{k\}\; cdot\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{k\}\; ight).$

Similarly, we may multiply out the summand of the second definition

:$R\_\{mathrm\{g^\{2\}\; stackrel\{mathrm\{def\{=\}\; frac\{1\}\{2N^\{2\; sum\_\{i,j\}\; left(\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{i\}\; -\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{j\}\; ight)^\{2\}\; =frac\{1\}\{2N^\{2\; sum\_\{i,j\}\; left\; [\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{i\}\; cdot\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{i\}\; +\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{j\}\; cdot\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{j\}\; -\; 2mathbf\{r\}\_\{i\}\; cdot\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{j\}\; ight]\; ,$

which can be written:

:$R\_\{mathrm\{g^\{2\}\; stackrel\{mathrm\{def\{=\}\; -\; left(\; frac\{1\}\{N\}\; sum\_\{i=1\}^\{N\}\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{i\}\; ight)\; cdot\; left(\; frac\{1\}\{N\}\; sum\_\{j=1\}^\{N\}\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{j\}\; ight)\; +\; frac\{1\}\{2N^\{2\; sum\_\{i,j\}\; left(\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{i\}\; cdot\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{i\}\; +\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{j\}\; cdot\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{j\}\; ight).$

Substituting the definition of $mathbf\{r\}\_\{mathrm\{mean$, and carrying out one of the summations in the final term (and renaming the remaining summation index to "k") yields

:$R\_\{mathrm\{g^\{2\}\; stackrel\{mathrm\{def\{=\}\; -mathbf\{r\}\_\{mathrm\{mean\; cdot\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{mathrm\{mean\; +\; frac\{1\}\{N\}\; sum\_\{k=1\}^\{N\}\; left(\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{k\}\; cdot\; mathbf\{r\}\_\{k\}\; ight)$,

proving the identity of the two definitions.as listed below

**Notes****References*** Grosberg AY and Khokhlov AR. (1994) "Statistical Physics of Macromolecules" (translated by Atanov YA), AIP Press. ISBN 1563960710

* Flory PJ. (1953) "Principles of Polymer Chemistry", Cornell University, pp. 428-429 (Appendix C o Chapter X).

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