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.
"Peter Collings . . . has done an admirable job of producing a readable, technically sound, and enjoyable book. . . . The author's style is engaging, readable, and frequently entertaining. The organization of topics is excellent."--American Journal of Physics
"A wonderful and readable book about an intriguing subject written in a lively, clear, and enthusiastic manner. . . . Collings provides an ideal introduction by using clear and simple illustrations and a minimum of mathematical innovations."--Choice
"This new edition is one of the best introductory resources on this class of unique molecules. . . . Highly recommended for its engaging style and interesting subject matter."--Choice
"The first edition of this text was very well received, and provided the first basic introduction to liquid crystals for newcomers to the field and students. . . . This edition will find similar popularity."--Andrew Cammidge, Chemistry & Industry
Table of Contents:
List of Plates ix
Preface to the Second Edition xi
Preface to the First Edition xiii
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