Squishy Physics

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Next seminar: 11/09/2022

Defect absorption and emission for liquid crystals on cones


Farzan Vafa

Center of Mathematical Sciences and Applications, Harvard University


Abstract: We investigate the ground-state configurations of two-dimensional liquid crystals with p-fold rotational symmetry (p-atics) on cones. The cone apex develops an effective topological charge, which in analogy to electrostatics, leads to defect absorption and emission at the cone apex as the deficit angle of the cone is varied. We find three types of ground-state configurations as a function of cone angle, which is determined by charged defects screening the effective apex charge: (i) for sharp cones, all of the +1/p defects are absorbed by the apex; (ii) at intermediate cone angles, some of the +1/p defects are absorbed by the apex and the rest lie equally spaced along a concentric ring on the flank; and (iii) for nearly flat cones, all of the +1/p defects lie equally spaced along a concentric ring on the flank. We check these results with numerical simulations for a set of commensurate cone angles and find excellent agreement.





Squishy Physics & Pizza Seminar Series

When: Wednesday Evenings at 6pm. Pizza served after the talk.

Where: Room 301, Pierce Hall, 29 Oxford St, on the Harvard Campus. Directions and parking instructions are here.

What: These talks are informal, with emphasis on new results and ideas, rather than polished presentations. The Squishy audience members typically include soft matter scientists, physicists, engineers, chemists, and biologists.  The goal is to stimulate discussion with the audience.  Talks are typically about 45 minutes long, with lots of questions along the way.

Pizza: Only the finest! 

How to join the weekly Squishy Physics mailing list: please visit the Signup Page.

Parking: Metered parking is available on Oxford Street.  Speakers, please contact Matthew Zahnzinger to obtain a parking permit.  

Squishy Physics is sponsored by the Cabot Corporation, Dean Cherry Murray and the Weitz Research Group.

If you have comments or suggestions or would like to give a talk, please contact Bobby Haney or Thomas Litschel.

Here is the upcoming schedule