Navigation Links
Liquid crystal research, future applications advance
Date:12/27/2012

AMHERST, Mass. Contributing geometric and topological analyses of micro-materials, University of Massachusetts Amherst mathematician Robert Kusner aided experimental physicists at the University of Colorado (UC) by successfully explaining the observed "beautiful and complex patterns revealed" in three-dimensional liquid crystal experiments. The work is expected to lead to creation of new materials that can be actively controlled.

Kusner is a geometer, an expert in the analysis of variational problems in low-dimensional geometry and topology, which concerns properties preserved under continuous deformation such as stretching and bending. His work over 3 decades has focused on the geometry and topology of curves, surfaces and other spaces that arise in nature, such as soap films, knots and the shapes of fluid droplets. Kusner agrees with physicist and lead author Ivan Smalyukh of UC Boulder that their collaboration is the first to show in experiments that some of the most fundamental topological theorems hold up in real materials. Their findings appear in the current early online issue of Nature.

UMass Amherst's Kusner explains, "There are two important aspects of this work. First, the experimental work by the Colorado team, who fabricated topologically complex micro-materials allowing controlled experiments of three-dimensional liquid crystals. Second, the theoretical work performed by us mathematicians and theoretical physicists while visiting the University of California Santa Barbara's Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP). We provided the geometric and topological analysis of these experiments, to explain the observed patterns and predict what patterns should be seen when experimental conditions are changed."

Kusner was the lone mathematician among four organizers of last summer's workshop on "Knotted Fields" at KITP, which led to this work. The workshop engaged about a dozen other mathematicians and about twice as many theoretical and experimental physicists in a month-long investigation of the interplay between low-dimensional topology and what physicists call "soft matter."

In their experiments, the physicists at UC Boulder showed that tiny topological particles injected into a liquid crystal medium behave in a manner consistent with established theorems in geometry and topology, Kusner says. The researchers say they have thus identified approaches for building new materials using topology.

UC Boulder's Smalyukh and colleagues set up the experiment by first creating colloids, solutions in which tiny particles are dispersed but not dissolved in a host medium, such as milk, paint and shaving cream. Specifically, they injected tiny, different-shaped particles into a liquid crystal, which behaves something like a liquid and a solid. Once injected into a liquid crystal, the particles behaved as predicted by topology.

Smalyukh says, "Our study shows that interaction between particles and molecular alignment in liquid crystals follows the predictions of topological theorems, making it possible to use these theorems in designing new composite materials with unique properties that cannot be encountered in nature or synthesized by chemists. These findings lay the groundwork for new applications in experimental studies of low-dimensional topology, with important potential ramifications for many branches of science and technology."

For example, he adds, these topological liquid crystal colloids could be used to upgrade current liquid crystal displays like those used in laptops and television screens, to allow them to interact with light in new, more energy efficient ways.


'/>"/>

Contact: Robert Kusner
kusner@math.umass.edu
413-545-6022
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. Lighthouse Worldwide Solutions Ramps Production of NanoCount 30+ Liquid Particle Counters for High Purity Water Applications
2. Automated Online Sample Preparation Comes to Waters UltraPerformance Liquid Chromatography (UPLC) Platform
3. Sifting liquid at the molecular level
4. First atomic-scale real-time movies of platinum nanocrystal growth in liquids
5. Are those liquids explosive?
6. Liquid, Ammonium Ion-Free Glutathione Reductase Enzyme Introduced by Bio-Research Products
7. Nanocrystals not small enough to avoid defects
8. Penn researchers make flexible, low-voltage circuits using nanocrystals
9. Nanocrystals and nickel catalyst substantially improve light-based hydrogen production
10. Research on nanocrystals to move from lab to market
11. Engineers achieve longstanding goal of stable nanocrystalline metals
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Liquid crystal research, future applications advance
(Date:4/27/2017)... RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. , April 27, 2017 ... ) today announced that its Board of Directors authorized ... company,s common stock. This program will became effective immediately, ... may be made in the open market, accelerated share ... time as determined by United Therapeutics, management and in ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... April 27, 2017 , ... Arrowhead Publishers is ... ) is coming to San Diego, CA on September 27-28, 2017. Leaders from ... the latest advances in the treatment of various types of pain. There are ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology ... a consummate communicator who promotes agricultural science and technology in the public arena. ... how innovation and growth in agriculture are critical for food security and global ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... USA (PRWEB) , ... April 26, 2017 , ... ... on FDA’s GMP expectations for phase I clinical trials comes to Tampa, San ... various biotechnology and pharma professionals representing FDA regulated organizations such as Pfizer Inc., ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/17/2017)... MELBOURNE, Florida , April 17, 2017 ... security technology company, announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report ... Securities and Exchange Commission. ... Report on Form 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section ... well as on the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... offering. ... market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period ... has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs ... growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell Science ... a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the ... the first application of deep learning to create predictive ... lines and a growing suite of powerful tools. The ... and future publicly available resources created and shared by ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):