Using molecular dynamics simulations we study the interactions between elongated colloidal particles (length to breath ratio ≫1) in a nematic host. The simulation results are compared to the results of a Landau–de Gennes elastic free energy. We find that depletion forces dominate for the sizes of the colloidal particles studied. The tangential component of the force, however, allows us to resolve the elastic contribution to the total interaction. We find that this contribution differs from the quadrupolar interaction predicted at large separations. The difference is due to the presence of nonlinear effects, namely, the change in the positions and structure of the defects and their annihilation at small separations.\ud \u
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