Convective Instabilities in Liquid Crystals Observed by Neutron Scattering

  • T. Riste
  • K. Otnes
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 112)


We like to consider neutron scattering as an ideal tool for the investigation of the dynamics of condensed matter systems. The advantages of a probe of atomic dimension and mass, and a de Broglie wavelength of interatomic dimension, are obvious. The method has its limitations, however, either because of resolution/ intensity problems, or because of the very nature of the phenomenon we are investigating. The former problem can be remedied by neutron sources of novel designs and higher intensity. The latter situation is met when the characteristic times that we want to measure are approaching macroscopic values, as for a critical system at Tc, or in an externally stressed, nonequilibrium system. Eventually conventional neutron spectroscopy has to fail when the neutron passage time over a correlation range becomes shorter than the characteristic time that we are trying to measure. We shall discuss below the merits of a complementary method, a real-time method, which in principle works when the conventional method fails. It seems worthwhile to seriously consider this method as much of the scientific interest moves to mesoscopic and to nonequilibrium systems. We have used this method for some years in the study of convection instabilities in nematic liquid crystals. Probably we have discovered more problems than we have solved, but perhaps a presentation of them is justified at a workshop where we are discussing the problems of tomorrow.


Power Spectrum Liquid Crystal Nematic Liquid Crystal Nonequilibrium System Transmitted Field 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Riste
    • 1
  • K. Otnes
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Energy TechnologyKjellerNorway

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