Transitions through critical temperatures in nematic liquid crystals

Apala Majumdar, John Ockendon, Peter Howell, Elena Surovyatkina

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15 Scopus citations


We obtain estimates for critical nematic liquid crystal (LC) temperatures under the action of a slowly varying temperature-dependent control variable. We show that biaxiality has a negligible effect within our model and that these delay estimates are well described by a purely uniaxial model. The static theory predicts two critical temperatures: the supercooling temperature below which the isotropic phase loses stability and the superheating temperature above which the ordered nematic states do not exist. In contrast to the static problem, the isotropic phase exhibits a memory effect below the supercooling temperature in the dynamic framework. This delayed loss of stability is independent of the rate of change of temperature and depends purely on the initial value of the temperature. We also show how our results can be used to improve estimates for LC material constants. © 2013 American Physical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 6 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUK-C1-013-04
Acknowledgements: A.M. is supported by EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship EP/J001686/1, an Oxford Centre for Collaborative Applied Mathematics (OCCAM) Visiting Fellowship, and a Keble Small Research Grant. This publication is partly based on work supported by Award No. KUK-C1-013-04, made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). A.M. would like to thank OCCAM for its hospitality. E.S. would like to thank OCCAM for funding. J.R.O. gratefully acknowledges financial support from a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship. We are grateful to the two anonymous referees for their comments which helped to much improve the manuscript.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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