Liquid crystals: matter in a state with properties in between those of a conventional liquid and of a solid crystal. A liquid crystal may flow like a liquid for instance, but its molecules may be oriented in a crystal-like way. Because of this, liquid crystals have physical properties that depend on the way they are probed.
The best known application of liquid crystals is the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), e.g. in flat panel TVs and watches. Other examples are Kevlar® and carbon nanotubes; both materials that are applied in very strong fibers, albeit that the latter also conducts electricity. Due to their very special properties, industrial interest in liquid crystals is quite significant.
Professor Paul van der Schoot (TU/e, Applied Physics) is a soft matter theorist, working on the boundary between physics, chemistry, biology and nanoscience. He presents aspects of the fascinating and puzzling physics of liquid crystals, explains why this material is so useful and will give examples of future applications.
Teaching award 2015
Paul van der Schoot was elected as best teacher in the Masters program at Eindhoven University of Technology in 2015.
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