What makes gels smile?

Jens Alfken alfken at zedat.fu-berlin.de
Sat Dec 7 13:46:01 EST 1996


As far as I«ve always been told it«s different temperatures in the gel
that
causes the smiley. Whereas in the middle of the gel heat can only be
dissipated
to the front and back, the lanes on the sides of the gel are cooler due
to
heat dissipation to the sides. Therefore running the gel cooler should
normally
result in less of a smile. Other options are water-cooled glass plates,

ventilators and alumninium plates that are clamped onto the glass
plates.

What I am wondering though is, what the exact physical reason for the
smiley is.
I assume that heat does not have much effect on the electrical side of
the
problem (maybe an effect on the resistance ?). I am more inclined to
believe
that the higher temperature increases the thermodynamic "energy" of the
Molecule
(biological oligomer/polymer) and thereby allows it to more efficiently
"wiggle"
itself free if it gets stuck in the gel matrix. 

Anyone have a better idea ?

Jens




Jens at zedat.fu-berlin.de



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