553 research outputs found

    Hydrodynamics of topological defects in nematic liquid crystals

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    We show that back-flow, the coupling between the order parameter and the velocity fields, has a significant effect on the motion of defects in nematic liquid crystals. In particular the defect speed can depend strongly on the topological strength in two dimensions and on the sense of rotation of the director about the core in three dimensions.Comment: 4 pages including two figure

    Simulations of collision times in gravity driven granular flow

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    We use simulations to investigate collision time distributions as one approaches the static limit of steady-state flow of dry granular matter. The collision times fall in a power-law distribution with an exponent dictated by whether the grains are ordered or disordered. Remarkably, the exponents have almost no dependence on dimension. We are also able to resolve a disagreement between simulation and experiments on the exponent of the collision time power-law distribution.Comment: 7 pages, 5 figure

    Lattice Boltzmann Algorithm for three-dimensional liquid crystal hydrodynamics

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    We describe a lattice Boltzmann algorithm to simulate liquid crystal hydrodynamics in three dimensions. The equations of motion are written in terms of a tensor order parameter. This allows both the isotropic and the nematic phases to be considered. Backflow effects and the hydrodynamics of topological defects are naturally included in the simulations, as are viscoelastic effects such as shear-thinning and shear-banding. We describe the implementation of velocity boundary conditions and show that the algorithm can be used to describe optical bounce in twisted nematic devices and secondary flow in sheared nematics with an imposed twist.Comment: 12 pages, 3 figure

    Hydrodynamics of domain growth in nematic liquid crystals

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    We study the growth of aligned domains in nematic liquid crystals. Results are obtained solving the Beris-Edwards equations of motion using the lattice Boltzmann approach. Spatial anisotropy in the domain growth is shown to be a consequence of the flow induced by the changing order parameter field (backflow). The generalization of the results to the growth of a cylindrical domain, which involves the dynamics of a defect ring, is discussed.Comment: 12 revtex-style pages, including 12 figures; small changes before publicatio

    Numerical calculations of the phase diagram of cubic blue phases in cholesteric liquid crystals

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    We study the static properties of cubic blue phases by numerically minimising the three-dimensional, Landau-de Gennes free energy for a cholesteric liquid crystal close to the isotropic-cholesteric phase transition. Thus we are able to refine the powerful but approximate, semi-analytic frameworks that have been used previously. We obtain the equilibrium phase diagram and discuss it in relation to previous results. We find that the value of the chirality above which blue phases appear is shifted by 20% (towards experimentally more accessible regions) with respect to previous estimates. We also find that the region of stability of the O5 structure -- which has not been observed experimentally -- shrinks, while that of BP I (O8-) increases thus giving the correct order of appearance of blue phases at small chirality. We also study the approach to equilibrium starting from the infinite chirality solutions and we find that in some cases the disclination network has to assemble during the equilibration. In these situations disclinations are formed via the merging of isolated aligned defects.Comment: 16 pages, 5 figures. Accepted for publication in Phys. Rev.

    Domain Walls and Phase Transitions in the Frustrated Two-Dimensional XY Model

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    We study and compare the critical properties of the two-dimensional (2D) XY model in a transverse magnetic field with magnetic filling factors f=1/3 and f=2/5. In addition to the spin waves, the low energy excitations of the system consist of various domain walls between degenerate ground states. The lowest energy domain wall has a similar structure for both f=1/3 and f=2/5 and its properties dictate the nature of the phase transition. For f=2/5 these lowest energy walls have a negative energy for binding to each other, giving rise to a branching domain-wall structure and leading to a first order phase transition. For f=1/3 this binding energy is positive, resulting in a linear critical interface. In order to make a comparison to recent experiments, we investigate the effect of small quenched bond disorder for f=2/5. A finite-size scaling analysis of extensive Monte Carlo simulations strongly suggests that the critical exponents of the phase transition for f=1/3, and for f=2/5 with disorder, fall into the universality class of the two-dimensional Ising model.Comment: 5 pages, 3 eps figures, REVTEX, revised version with new figure

    Rheology of distorted nematic liquid crystals

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    We use lattice Boltzmann simulations of the Beris--Edwards formulation of nematodynamics to probe the response of a nematic liquid crystal with conflicting anchoring at the boundaries under shear and Poiseuille flow. The geometry we focus on is that of the hybrid aligned nematic (HAN) cell, common in devices. In the nematic phase, backflow effects resulting from the elastic distortion in the director field render the velocity profile strongly non-Newtonian and asymmetric. As the transition to the isotropic phase is approached, these effects become progressively weaker. If the fluid is heated just above the transition point, however, another asymmetry appears, in the dynamics of shear band formation.Comment: 7 pages, 4 figures. Accepted for publication in Europhys. Let

    Interfacial motion in flexo- and order-electric switching between nematic filled states

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    We consider a nematic liquid crystal, in coexistence with its isotropic phase, in contact with a substrate patterned with rectangular grooves. In such a system, the nematic phase may fill the grooves without the occurrence of complete wetting. There may exist multiple (meta)stable filled states, each characterised by the type of distortion (bend or splay) in each corner of the groove and by the shape of the nematic-isotropic interface, and additionally the plateaux that separate the grooves may be either dry or wet with a thin layer of nematic. Using numerical simulations, we analyse the dynamical response of the system to an externally- applied electric field, with the aim of identifying switching transitions between these filled states. We find that order-electric coupling between the fluid and the field provides a means of switching between states where the plateaux between grooves are dry and states where they are wet by a nematic layer, without affecting the configuration of the nematic within the groove. We find that flexoelectric coupling may change the nematic texture in the groove, provided that the flexoelectric coupling differentiates between the types of distortion at the corners of the substrate. We identify intermediate stages of the transitions, and the role played by the motion of the nematic-isotropic interface. We determine quantitatively the field magnitudes and orientations required to effect each type of transition.Comment: 14 pages, 12 fig
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