Liquid crystals find their applications in display applications, from small watch displays to large flat screen TV:s and computer panels. There are many other applications in connection to information storage and handling, especially when optical solutions are sought. And liquid crystals are possible elements to combine with other for the creation of nanoscale devices.
Liquid Crystal Physics is a rich subject.
Liquid crystals are substances in phases at the border between the solid and liquid phase,
balancing between disorder and order and between high and low symmetry, continuously
self-assembling and rearranging, adopting to external fields and boundary conditions.
We cannot draw a sharp line between microscopic and macroscopic systems and effect in
the liquid crystalline phases: the molecular order at the boundaries will affect
the whole volume of the liquid crystal, and might be directly observed by our human eyes.
But when we see the structures formed by the liquid crystals, they do not always correspond to our
everyday experience. To understand what we see, we need to create concepts and images inside our brains that
correspond to the liquid-crystal structures.
In the study of liquid crystals we may find applications for many areas of mathematics, physics
and chemistry. In mathematics we might use differential calculus,
linear algebra, Fourier analysis, the theory of differential equations, variational theory,
group theory and topology. In physics knowledge about mechanics, electricity, optics, statistical physics, surface physics and theory of phase transitions is useful. In chemistry we need organic synthesis, asymmetric synthesis,
self-assembling systems and polymer and surface chemistry, etc.