Liquid crystals are fascinating materials, best known for their use in liquid crystal displays (LCDs). Liquid crystals are perhaps best thought of as functional, ordered fluids, and subtle variations in order to allow them to exhibit ferroelectricity and antiferroelectricity, the only fluid systems that do so. This talk describes some of the remarkable properties of liquid crystals and, in the International Year of Crystallography, explains some ways in which x-ray scattering has revealed details of their order, leading to a much better understanding of how subtle differences in the order of nanometer scale can result in huge differences in bulk physical properties.
Talks start at 18.30 with tea and coffee available from 18.00. All are welcome and all our talks are free to attend.