The Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Eprints Archive

Nematic liquid crystals : from Maier-Saupe to a continuum theory

Ball, J. M. and Majumdar, Apala (2009) Nematic liquid crystals : from Maier-Saupe to a continuum theory. Not specified . (Submitted)



We define a continuum energy functional in terms of the mean-field Maier-Saupe free energy, that describes both spatially homogeneous and inhomogeneous systems. The Maier-Saupe theory defines the main macroscopic variable, the Q-tensor order parameter, in terms of the second moment of a probability distribution function. This definition requires the eigenvalues of Q to be bounded both from below and above. We define a thermotropic bulk potential which blows up whenever the eigenvalues tend to these lower and upper bounds. This is in contrast to the Landau-de Gennes theory which has no such penalization. We study the asymptotics of this bulk potential in different regimes and discuss phase transitions predicted by this model.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:D - G > General
Research Groups:Oxford Centre for Collaborative Applied Mathematics
ID Code:843
Deposited By: Dr M. Stoll
Deposited On:16 Oct 2009 06:37
Last Modified:29 May 2015 18:32

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