What Is a Polymer?

Polymers are substances made of long, repeating chains of molecules. The elements have unique characteristics, depending on the type of particles being bonded and how they are bonded. Some polymers give and stretch, like rubber and polyester. Others are dense and tough, like epoxies and glass.
Polymers touch almost every phase of modern life. Chances are most bodies have been in contact with at least one polymer-containing commodity — from water bottles to gadgets to tires — in the last five minutes. 
The term polymer is often used to describe typical plastics, which are synthetic polymers. However, natural polymers also subsist; rubber and wood, for example, are natural polymers that consist of a simple hydrocarbon, isoprene, according to Encyclopedia Britannica

Proteins are natural polymers formed by amino acids, and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) are polymers of nucleotides — complex particles composed of nitrogen-containing bases, sugars and phosphoric acid, for instance.

Chemical reactions

Hermann Staudinger, a professor of organic chemistry at the University of Applied Sciences in Zurich, is the founder of modern polymer development. His research in the 1920s led the way to modern uses of both natural and synthetic polymers. He coined two terms that are key to understanding polymers: polymerization and macromolecules, according to the American Chemical Society (ACS). He was awardedNobel Prize in Chemistry in 1953 "for his findings in the area of macromolecular chemistry." 

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