We present a theory of orientational order in nematic liquid crystals which interpolates between several distinct approaches based on the director field (Oseen and Frank), order parameter tensor (Landau and de Gennes), and orientation probability density function (Onsager). As in density-functional theories, the suggested free energy is a functional of spatially-dependent orientation distribution, however, the nonlocal effects are taken into account via phenomenological elastic terms rather than by means of a direct pair-correlation function. In illustration of this approach we consider a simplified model with orientation parameter on a circle and reveal its relation to the complex Ginzburg-Landau theory.
- Liquid crystals
- Spatial patterns
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Mathematics
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics