A Lattice of Rigid Rods with Long Range Anisotropic Attractions
Until recently, two points of view concerning the forces which shape the distinctive first order transition between the nematic liquid crystalline phase and the normal isotropic liquid prevailed. From one perspective, that advocated by Maier and Saupe,1 long ranged, anisotropic attractive interactions were viewed as primarily responsible for forging the unique properties of the transition. From the other perspective,2 the first order transition was considered to arise exclusively from the effects of hard core steric repulsions between elongated rod-like molecules. Neither position, however, has been without its shortcomings.
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