Variational problems for cholesteric liquid crystals - Function spaces and competing theories
Seminar Room 1, Newton Institute
AbstractGenerally chiral nematic liquid crystals have been seen as an aside to nematics, and have been studied less as a result. However they can exhibit many and varied patterns in the form of cholesteric fingers or filaments. If these behaviours were understood and controllable it could prove to be a valuable advance in industry devices. The notion of cholesteric frustration appears to be what drives the existence of the complicated minima, as a result boundary conditions, cell geometry and surface energies are all extremely important in the creation of a tractable problem, but so too is the function space in which we choose to minimise. More generally it might be possible, in some cases, to see different theories (Oseen-Frank, Ericksen, Q-Tensor) as merely minimisations in different function spaces.
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