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On the Maier-Saupe theory of Nematic liquid crystals

Presented by: 
X Zheng Kent State University
Tuesday 8th January 2013 - 09:40 to 10:20
INI Seminar Room 1
Maier-Saupe theory, the first successful theoretical model of thermotropic nematic liquid crystals (LCs), is a mean field description of a system of cylindrically symmetric particles interacting via London dispersion forces. The theory predicts a uniaxial nematic phase at low temperatures, and a first order phase transition to an isotropic fluid phase as the temperature is increased. In this talk, I will first give a brief introduction of the canonical Maier-Saupe theory, then extend it to biaxial LC molecules, to inhomogeneous LCs, and to higher spatial dimensions, and discuss the relation between Maier-Saupe and other main theories of LCs.
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University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons