1st Edition

Nematic and Cholesteric Liquid Crystals
Concepts and Physical Properties Illustrated by Experiments

ISBN 9780415321402
Published February 28, 2005 by CRC Press
648 Pages

USD $220.00

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Book Description

Liquid crystals allow us to perform experiments that provide insight into fundamental problems of modern physics, such as phase transitions, frustration, elasticity, hydrodynamics, defects, growth phenomena, and optics (linear and non linear). This excellent volume meets the need for an up-to-date text on liquid crystals.

Nematic and Cholesteric Liquid Crystals: Concepts and Physical Properties Illustrated by Experiments is a result of personal research and of the graduate lectures given by the authors at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon and the University of Paris VII, respectively. The first part of the book presents historical background, the modern classification of liquid crystals, and mesogenic anatomy; the second part examines liquid crystals with nematic and cholesteric orientational order. Topics include dielectric and magnetic properties, Frederiks transitions and displays, light scattering, flow and electrohydrodynamic instabilities, surface anchoring transitions, interfaces, equilibrium shapes, and the Mullins-Sekerka instability. Smectic and columnar liquid crystals are covered in more detail by the authors in a separate volume, entitled Smectic and Columnar Liquid Crystals: Concepts and Physical Properties Illustrated by Experiments.

The presentation is illustrated throughout by simple experiments, some of which were performed in class. Nematic and Cholesteric Liquid Crystals: Concepts and Physical Properties Illustrated by Experiments provides a useful reference intended for advanced undergraduate and graduate students and researchers in liquid crystals, condensed matter physics, and materials science.

Table of Contents

Some History
Modern Classification of Liquid Crystals
Mesogenic Anatomy
Structure and Dielectric Properties of the Nematic Phase
Nematoelasticity: Frederiks Transition and Light Scattering
Nematodynamics and Flow Instabilities
Defects and Textures in Nematics
Anchoring and Anchoring Transitions of Nematics on Solid Surfaces
The Nematic-Isotropic Liquid Interface: Static Properties and Directional Growth Instabilities
Cholesterics: the First Example of a Frustrated Mesophase
Blue Phases: a Second Example of a Frustrated Mesophase
Overview of Growth Phenomena and the Mullins-Sekerka Instability
Subject index
Author index

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Patrick Oswald, Pawel Pieranski, John W. Goodby and George W. Gray


"…authoritative and detailed…one notices the importance given to topics that have only received limited coverage elsewhere in the literature, such as surface phenomena (anchoring, faceting) and the dynamics of growth or deformation."
- Jacques Friedel, Académie des Sciences, Paris, France

"Oswald and Pieranski have written a book that should be in every scientific library and on many researchers' shelves. Both the experienced worker and the novice research student should find it extremely useful, both for its explanations of the basic principles and its elaboration of numerous subtleties."

– Peter J. Collings, Swarthmore College, in Liquid Crystals Today, 2008, Vol. 17, No 1 & 2