Smectic film electroconvection: A tempest in a soap bubble (Venue: MR3 CMS)
Meeting Room 3, CMS
Smectic liquid crystals are slimy organic liquids that form submicron thick suspended films, rather like soap bubbles. These films are nearly perfect two-dimensional liquids, with uniform thickness down to the molecular scale. I will describe fluid mechanical convection experiments carried out in smectic films which are forced electrically. With gentle forcing and an applied shear, we can produce a pattern of vortices that exhibits interesting nonlinear dynamics. With strong forcing, we can study the scaling behaviour of turbulent convection.