Introduction to pattern formation and fluid dynamics
Department of Physics
Kent State University
Liquid crystals, as anisotropic fluids, represent an excellent model system
for the study of both as formation outside of equilibrium and turbulence
on the microscopic scale. In this talk, after a brief review of what
makes liquid crystals so special, I discuss some highly varied examples
of spontaneous structure formation. These are presented in the context
of their similarity with buoyancy driven convection in simple fluids.
Measurements of the rate of energy dissipation during flow of liquid crystals
are presented as a powerful, quantitative tool to not only test theoretical
predictions but also reveal new phenomena.