Liquid Crystal Elastomers and Light (**joint talk with I-CAMP)
Seminar Room 1, Newton Institute
Liquid crystal elastomers are solid liquid crystals; they combine elasticity with orientational order. Mechanical strain therefore changes liquid crystalline order and the optical properties of these materials. Conversely, light can change the orientational order, and give rise to mechanical forces and changes in shape. Light-matter interactions in LCEs therefore involve a broad range of unusual phenomena, which raise a number of intriguing questions. I will present the results of some experiments probing such phenomena, and discuss the underlying physics.