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Smectic film electroconvection: A tempest in a soap bubble (Venue: MR3 CMS)

Morris, S (Toronto)
Tuesday 13 December 2005, 09:00-10:00

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.


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