Liquid crystals are partially ordered systems without a rigid, long-range structure. The study of these materials covers a wide area: chemical structure, physical properties and technical applications. Due to their dual nature - anisotropic physical properties of solids and rheological behavior of liquids - and easy response to externally applied electric, magnetic, optical and surface fields liquid crystals are of greatest potential for scientific and technological applications. The subject has come of age and has achieved the status of being a very exciting interdisciplinary field of scientific and industrial research.This book is an outgrowth of the enormous advances made during the last three decades in both our understanding of liquid crystals and our ability to use them in applications. It presents a systematic, self-contained and up-to-date overview of the structure and properties of liquid crystals. It will be of great value to graduates and research workers in condensed matter physics, chemical physics, biology, materials science, chemical and electrical engineering, and technology from a materials science and physics viewpoint of liquid crystals.
Liquid crystals: main types and classification; distribution functions and order parameters; physical properties of liquid crystals; nematic liquid crystals; nematic liquid crystals - elastostatics and nematodynamics; smectic liquid crystals; liquid crystals of disc-like molecules; polymer liquid crystals; chiral liquid crystals; lyotropic liquid crystals; defects and textures in liquid crystals.