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Onsager's Variational Principle in Soft Matter Dynamics

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The Mathematics of Liquid Crystals

In the celebrated paper on the reciprocal relation for the kinetic coefficients in irreversible processes, Onsager extended Rayleigh’s principle of the least energy dissipation to general irreversible processes. In this presentation, I shall show that this variational principle is very convenient in considering the non-linear and non-equilibrium phenomena in soft matter. I will discuss this using the examples of (i) viscoelasticity of colloidal suspensions and polymer solutions, (ii)diffusion-mechanical coupling in polymer solutions and gels, and (iii) nemato-hydrodynamics etc.

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

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