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Avenues to Active Shape Control in Nematic Solid Sheets

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The Mathematics of Liquid Crystals

Much recent progress has been made in the study of nematic solids, both glassy and elastomeric in connection with these materials’ remarkable coupling of the nematic texture and liquid crystalline properties to bulk elasticity and deformations. This talk will present a survey of the mechanisms and machineries that have been recently developed to allow for active control of many aspects of the shape of a thin sheet or shell of nematic solid: extrinsic bending, the blueprinting of intrinsic curvature and shape, switchable pores, and more. These examples, in addition to providing a rich tool box for potential device design, will also elucidate the connection between the topology of the nematic director field and the geometry of elastic deformations in this model system.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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