, Volume 210, Issue 3, pp 773-811
Date: 13 Sep 2013

Equivalent Theories of Liquid Crystal Dynamics

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Abstract

There are two competing descriptions of nematic liquid crystal dynamics: the Ericksen–Leslie director theory and the Eringen micropolar approach. Up to this day, these two descriptions have remained distinct in spite of several attempts to show that the micropolar theory includes the director theory. In this paper we show that this is the case by using symmetry reduction techniques and introducing a new system that is equivalent to the Ericksen–Leslie equations and may include disclination dynamics. The resulting equations of motion are verified to be completely equivalent, although one of the two different reductions offers the possibility of accounting for orientational defects. After applying these two approaches to the ordered micropolar theory of Lhuiller and Rey, all the results are eventually extended to flowing complex fluids, such as nematic liquid crystals.