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On the Maier-Saupe theory of Nematic liquid crystals

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The Mathematics of Liquid Crystals

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.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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