Robert Pelcovits

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We present a method of visualizing topological defects arising in numerical simulations of liquid crystals. The method is based on scientific visualization techniques developed to visualize second-rank tensor fields, yielding information not only on the local structure of the field but also on the continuity of these structures. We show how these techniques(More)
Curved textures of ferroelectric smectic-C* liquid crystals produce space charge when they involve divergence of the spontaneous polarization field. Impurity ions can partially screen this space charge, reducing long-range interactions to local ones. Through studies of the textures of islands on very thin free-standing smectic films, we see evidence of this(More)
Phase-ordering dynamics in nematic liquid crystals has been the subject of much active investigation in recent years in theory, experiments, and simulations. With a rapid quench from the isotropic to nematic phase, a large number of topological defects are formed and dominate the subsequent equilibration process. Here we present the results of a molecular(More)
Researchers in computational condensed matter physics deal with complex data sets consisting of time varying 3D tensor, vector, and scalar quantities. Particularly, in the research of topological defects in nematic liquid crystals (LC) displaying the results of the computer simulation of molecular dynamics presents a challenge. Combining existing immersive(More)
We present visualization tools for analyzing molecular simulations of liquid crystal (LC) behavior. The simulation data consists of terabytes of data describing the position and orientation of every molecule in the simulated system over time. Condensed matter physicists study the evolution of topological defects in these data, and our visualization tools(More)
In the 1970s, deGennes discussed the fundamental geometry of smectic liquid crystals and established an analogy between the smectic A phase and superconductors. It follows that smectic layers expel twist deformations in the same way that superconductors expel magnetic field. We make a direct observation of the penetration of twist at the edge of a single(More)
We consider a theoretical model for the chiral smectic A twisted ribbons observed in assemblies of fd viruses condensed by depletion forces. The depletion interaction is modeled by an edge energy assumed to be proportional to the depletant polymer in solution. Our model is based on the Helfrich energy for surface bending and the de Gennes model of chiral(More)
We study the coarsening dynamics of two- and three-dimensional biaxial nematic liquid crystals, using Langevin dynamics. Unlike previous work, we use a model with no a priori relationship among the three elastic constants associated with director deformations. Biaxial nematics possess four topologically distinct classes of defects, three of which have(More)
We study edge fluctuations of a flat colloidal membrane comprised of a monolayer of aligned filamentous viruses. Experiments reveal that a peak in the spectrum of the in-plane edge fluctuations arises for sufficiently strong virus chirality. Accounting for internal liquid crystalline degrees of freedom by the length, curvature, and geodesic torsion of the(More)
The nature of glass phases of liquid crystals in random porous media depends on the effective disorder strength. We study how the disorder strength depends on the density of the porous media and demonstrate that it can increase as the density decreases. We also show that the interaction of the liquid crystal with random porous media can destroy long-range(More)