Number average molecular weight
The number average molecular weight is a way of determining the molecular weight of a polymer. Polymer molecules, even ones of the same type, come in different sizes (chain lengths, for linear polymers), so the average molecular weight will depend on the method of averaging. The number average molecular weight is the common, mean, average of the molecular weights of the individual polymers. It is determined by measuring the molecular weight of n polymer molecules, summing the weights, and dividing by n.
The number average molecular weight of a polymer can be determined by gel permeation chromatography, viscometry, light scattering, analytical ultracentrifugation, vapor pressure osmometry, end-group titration, and colligative properties.