University of Birmingham > Talks@bham > Theoretical Physics Seminars > Contact geometry in cholesterics and chiral materials

Contact geometry in cholesterics and chiral materials

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  • UserThomas Machon (University of Bristol)
  • ClockThursday 25 November 2021, 13:15-14:30
  • HouseTheory Library.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Hannah Price.

Chirality in materials, such as liquid crystals, often entails a high degree of geometric frustration, leading to a rich array of morphological phenomena. Here I will discuss how methods from contact geometry and topology can be used to give a qualitative understanding of the behaviour of chiral materials. Using experiments on cylindrically confined lyotropic chromonic liquid crystals as a model system, I will show how contact topology-theoretic methods lead to a topological description of the various metastable minima in the energy landscape, as well as explaining the existence of novel chirally-protected solitons. I will further show how the same perspective can be used to understand the structural stability of highly-twisted Skyrmions in chiral ferromagnets, with applications to racetrack memory devices. Finally, I will present the results of transition path sampling calculations describing generic features of chiral morphological transitions in liquid crystalline systems.

This talk is part of the Theoretical Physics Seminars series.

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