This comprehensive textbook describes the synthesis, characterization and technical and engineering applications of polymers. Offering a broad and balanced introduction to the basic concepts of macromolecular chemistry and to the synthesis and physical chemistry of polymers, it is the ideal text for graduate students and advanced Masters students starting out in polymer science. Building on the basic principles of organic chemistry and thermodynamics, it provides an easily understandable and highly accessible introduction to the topic. Step by step, readers will obtain a detailed and well-founded understanding of this vibrant and increasingly important subject area at the intersection between chemistry, physics, engineering and the life sciences. Following a different approach than many other textbooks in the field, the authors, with their varying backgrounds (both from academia and industry), offer a new perspective. Starting with a clear and didactic introduction, the book discusses basic terms and sizes and shapes of polymers and macromolecules. There then follow chapters dedicated to polymers in solutions, molar mass determination, and polymers in the solid state, incl. (partially) crystalline or amorphous polymers as well as their application as engineering materials. Based on this information, the authors explain the most important polymerization methods and techniques. Often neglected in other textbooks, there are chapters on technical polymers, functional polymers, elastomers and liquid crystalline polymers, as well as polymers and the environment. An overview of current trends serves to generate further interest in present and future developments in the field..