Transitions within the Cholesteric Mesophase of Cholesteryl Stearate
Implicit in the measurement of the thermodynamic properties of the substances which undergo phase changes is the assumption that the transitions are equilibrium phenomena, i.e., that time is not a variable. In the measurement of the freezing points of small molecules by cooling at a steady rate, supercooling invariably occurs if the crystal structure is complex. The formation of the mesophases of the monotropic esters of cholesterol, whose structures are indeed complex, requires sensible time for optimizing molecular orientations.
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