Spatio-temporal patterns in the thermoconvection of a planar nematic layer: II. Experiments
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We study experimentally the evolution of thermoconvection in a laterally extended planar nematic layer, at zero or weak stabilizing magnetic field. As the applied thermal gradient is increased, a cascade of symmetry breakings occurs, towards structures of increasing spatial complexity, and ultimately towards oscillating states. The patterns are characterized optically, and simple models for the distortion of the vertical (out of plane) component of the director field are proposed.
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