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Active and driven liquid crystals

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Anne Herrmann.

Liquid crystals are composed of rod-shaped particles. At high enough density, they can form long-range orientational order but without positional order. In active liquid crystals, energy is also injected continuously to the system by the individual particles. Examples of active liquid crystals include bacterial suspensions and cell cytoskeletons. In this talk I will explore some consequences of the this local energy injection such as spontaneous flow transition and spontaneous motility in active droplets. Finally I will discuss the behaviour of a sheared but passive liquid crystal where energy is injected to the system at the boundaries, instead of locally. In particular I will show how this may lead to a shear-induced first order phase transition.

This talk is part of the DAMTP BioLunch series.

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