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Liquid crystal defects, a critical overview

Kleman, M (Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris)
Monday 24 June 2013, 09:45-10:30

Seminar Room 1, Newton Institute


Defects in liquid crystals present an extremely vast set of situations, depending on the nature of the order parameter, elasticity properties, boundary conditions. One distinguishes : defects characteristic of liquid crystalline media with one or two discrete repeat distances (smectic and columnar phases) which can be investigated by pure geometric methods ; defects characteristic of a director order parameter, which employ the Volterra process (for one dimensional defects) and topological methods, those latter providing scope for defects of various dimensionalities ; finally continuous defects whose consideration is essential for a description of defect physical properties. These topics will be confronted with an historical point of view and possible future developments.

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