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Liquid crystals in the last three decades have become part of a technological explosion, leading to advances in areas as diverse as oil recovery, the production of temperature sensors - from medical thermograms to "mood rings" - and biological research into nerve conduction and artheriosclerosis. Although they are as fundamental a phase of matter as solids, liquids, and gases, liquid crystals have over the past century puzzled scientists by their very existence. With this book Peter Collings is among the first to introduce the general reader to what is known of the chemistry and physics of liquid crystals, focusing on the basic principles behind their myriad of delicate properties.

Written in a clear and lively style, this work is accessible to readers with a basic science background and the willingness to learn more about this ubiquitous technology. Collings discusses the discovery of liquid crystals and the theoretical research presently being performed. He also describes important applications, emphasizing the role of liquid crystal display technology in such devices as laptop computers, automobile dashboards, and pocket color televisions. Finally, the author covers new developments pertaining to polymers, emulsions, and biological systems as well as the importance of these advances for industry and medicine.

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This reference provides a critical review of the scientific and technological advances in liquid crystal research over the past 15 years, emphasizing the work that has been crucial in developing simple but powerful models describing the complex phenomena of liquid crystals during this period. The volume treats both pure scientific theories and processes and applied scientific and technological advances in roughly equal proportions. Each of the 15 chapters is written by an expert in the field, and each chapter provides a wide range of references that may be consulted for more detailed information.

Liquid crystal technology is one of the most important developments in today's world. Materials can have their molecules realigned, using magnetic or electrical fields, and in the process acquire the properties of both solids and liquids. These new materials are also inexpensive, occupy small spaces, and use little energy. As a result, liquid crystal materials are increasingly used in everyday objects: notebook computer screens, flat screen TV's, stereo displays, 3-D computer chips, and displays on phones and digital watches. This book brings together the most important research from this field in the last 15 years, presenting a timely reference for professionals in chemistry and physics, and those leading institutions and businesses that work with cutting-edge technologies. The book covers both theory and practice, explaining both the processes that govern liquid crystals and their scientific and technological applications. Extensive references to papers and reviews on critical aspects of this technology are included. An introductory chapter gives readers a general background, followed by chapters from leading experts on such topics as synthesis and new materials, theory and computation, phase structures and transitions, ferroelectrics and external field effects, interfaces and surfaces, liquid crystal polymers, addressing schemes, communication devices, optical linear phenomena in liquid crystals, and bistable displays. Anyone who works with liquid crystals will welcome this reference on their bookshelves. .

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This text relies on only introductory level chemistry and physics as the foundation for understanding liquid crystal science. Liquid crystals combine the material properties of solids with the flow properties of fluids. As such they have provided the foundation for a revolution in low- power, flat-panel display technology (LCDs). In this book, the essential elements of liquid crystal science are introduced and explained from the perspectives of both the chemist and the physicist. The text begins with an historical account of the discovery of liquid crystals and continues with a description of how different phases are generated and how different molecular architectures affect liquid crystalline properties. The rest of the book is concerned with understanding and explaining the properties of the various types of liquid crystals, and in the final part of the book, the technology of LCDs is discussed and illustrated.

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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 first edition have been 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.

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Much more than a slight revision, this second edition of the successful Handbook of Liquid Crystals is completely restructured and streamlined, with updated as well as completely new topics, 100% more content, and a new team of editors and authors. As such, it fills the gap for a definitive, single source reference for all those working in the field of organized fluids and will set the standard for the next decade.

The Handbook's new structure facilitates navigation and combines the presentation of the content by topic and by liquid-crystal type. A "fundamentals" volume sets the stage for an understanding of the liquid crystal state of matter, while individual volumes cover the main types and forms, with a final volume bringing together the diverse liquid crystal phases through their applications.

This all-embracing coverage represents the undiluted knowledge on liquid crystals, making the Handbook useful wherever liquid crystals are investigated, produced or used, and in institutions where their science and technology is taught.