DNA denaturation as a problem of translational-symmetry restoration

Carla Goldman, Wilma K. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We study the quantum-mechanical version of a model proposed by Peyrard and Bishop [Phys. Rev. Lett. 62, 2755 (1989)] to describe the denaturation phenomenon on the DNA double helix. We characterize denaturation as a phase transition leading to the restoration of the translational invariance of the system. The problem is approached via a modified perturbative theory which incorporates also nonperturbative effects. These are accounted by an auxiliary random variable u describing the equilibrium positions of the constituting particles. The criticality of the model is revealed by analyzing equations involving the first and second cumulants of the u-distribution function. As a consequence, an analytical expression for the critical temperature Tc is obtained as a function of all model parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1461-1468
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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