A publication in the Journal of Chemical Physics has been featured in Scilight, the American Institute of Physics magazine. The publication, summarizing research on phase changes in a simplified liquid crystal system, is authored by Dr. Yan Zhao, who defended her thesis in February 2018, and Professor Richard Stratt. Scilight showcases the most interesting research across the physical sciences published in AIP Publishing Journals.
From the Press Release:
Liquid crystals undergo a peculiar type of phase change. At a certain temperature, their cigar-shaped molecules go from a disordered jumble to a more orderly arrangement in which they all point more or less in the same direction. LCD televisions take advantage of that phase change to project different colors in moving images.
For years, however, experiments have hinted at another liquid crystal state — an intermediate state between the disordered and ordered states in which order begins to emerge in discrete patches as a system approaches its transition temperature. Now, chemists at Brown University have demonstrated a theoretical framework for detecting that intermediate state and for better understanding how it works.