Annealed lattice animal model and Flory theory for the melt of non-concatenated rings: towards the physics of crumpling
A Flory theory is constructed for a long polymer ring in a melt of unknotted and non-concatenated rings. The theory assumes that the ring forms an effective annealed branched object and computes its primitive path. It is shown that the primitive path follows self-avoiding statistics and is characterized by the corresponding Flory exponent of a polymer with excluded volume. Based on that, it is shown that rings in the melt are compact objects with overall size proportional to their length raised to the 1/3 power. Furthermore, the contact probability exponent γcontact is estimated, albeit by a poorly controlled approximation, with the result close to 1.1 consistent with both numerical and experimental data.