Phase Transitions in Liquid Crystals

  • Chia-Wei Woo


Let me begin with a few words which will be discouraging to He physicists. In contrast to superfluid 3He, liquid crystals are plentiful, inexpensive, and copious in variety. By synthesis, one can readily create new species. There are a large number of phases, each with its own peculiar properties. Experiments are done at ordinary temperatures, using easily accessible magnetic fields and relatively unsophisticated apparatus. All the challenges reside in the physics of the substances themselves, rather than the techniques required for unveiling the physics. Note that I have said a mouthful without even mentioning technological or biomedical applications.


Liquid Crystal Orientational Order Cholesteric Liquid Crystal Short Range Correlation Spatial Order 
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  1. In my opinion, the best way to approach the subject is to begin with E. B. Priestley, P. J. Wajtowicz, and P. Sheng’s Introduction to Liquid Crystals (Plenum 1975), and then move on toGoogle Scholar
  2. P. G. deGennes’ Physics of Liquid Crystals (Oxford 1974).Google Scholar
  3. M. J. Stephen and J. P. Straley’s Rev. Mod. Phys. 46, 618 (1974) contains a wealth of useful material, whileADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. G. H. Brown, J. W. Doane and V. D. Neff’s A Review of the Structure and Physical Properties of Liquid Crystals (CRC, 1971) contains a large number of older references.Google Scholar
  5. G. W. Gray’s Molecular Structure and the Properties of Liquid Crystals (Academic, 1962) is by now out of date, but does have quite a bit of chemistry and structural analysis.Google Scholar
  6. Papers from our group have appeared mainly in the last three years’ Phys. Rev. A., Phys. Rev. Letters, Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst., and Phys. Letter A. A list will be provided upon request. From these papers one can obtain other references.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chia-Wei Woo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyNortwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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