Pub. Date:
Princeton University Press
Liquid Crystals: Nature's Delicate Phase of Matter - Second Edition / Edition 2

Liquid Crystals: Nature's Delicate Phase of Matter - Second Edition / Edition 2

by Peter J. Collings


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Liquid crystals are a phase of matter critical both in many recent scientific developments in biology, chemistry, and physics and in applications such as computer displays, electronic books, and new thermometers. This fully illustrated book builds on basic scientific concepts from biology, chemistry, and physics to explore the full range of the broad and interdisciplinary field of liquid crystal science.

After a brief introduction to liquid crystals, the text sketches the history of research into this phase of matter, beginning with its discovery. Interesting in its own right, this history also demonstrates the crucial role that technological applications play in promoting scientific research.

The behavior of the various liquid crystalline phases is described in detail, with an emphasis on the electrical and optical properties so important for applications. Applications are then covered, with in-depth attention given to how liquid crystals are used in computer-screen displays. Chapters dealing with liquid crystalline phases formed in solutions, the liquid crystal phases of polymers, and the biological significance of liquid crystals explore the huge range of phenomena associated with liquid crystals—from new high-strength fibers to the frontiers of cell-membrane research. Finally, there is a chapter highlighting current theoretical knowledge about why liquid crystals exist and why they have the properties they do.

In this second edition, many portions of the highly praised first edition have been thoroughly revised and expanded to incorporate the tremendous theoretical and applied research advances made over the last decade. The result is an up-to-date and comprehensive description of liquid crystal science and technology at the introductory level. Students and researchers in a variety of fields will find this book an ideal entry to a highly productive area of inquiry.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691086729
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 12/23/2001
Edition description: Second
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Peter J. Collings is the Morris L. Clothier Professor of Physics and Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Swarthmore College. He has conducted experimental research on liquid crystals for more than twenty-five years. He is the coauthor of Introduction to Liquid Crystals: Chemistry and Physics and the coeditor of Handbook of Liquid Crystal Research.

Table of Contents

List of Plates ix

Preface to the Second Edition xi

Preface to the First Edition xiii

Acknowledgments xv

1. What Are Liquid Crystals? 1

2. The Story of Liquid Crystals 18

3. Electric and Magnetic Field Effects 28

4. Light and Nematic Liquid Crystals 46

5. Light and X-rays in Other Types of Liquid Crystals 62

6. Liquid Crystal Displays 82

7. LCD Technology and Other Applications 107

8. Lyotropic Liquid Crystals 133

9. Polymer Liquid Crystals 149

10. Theories, Defects, and Fluid Lattices 167

11. Biological Importance of Liquid Crystals 186

Suggestions for Further Reading 199

Index 201

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