ITLApplied  Computational Mathematics Division
ACMD Seminar Series
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Analysis of a Ginzburg-Landau Type Energy Model for Smectic-C* Liquid Crystal with Defects

Sean Colbert-Kelly
Applied and Computational Mathematics Division, NIST

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 15:00-16:00,
Building 101, Lecture Room C
Tuesday, May 28, 2013 13:00-14:00,
Room 1-4058


This work investigates properties of a smectic C* liquid crystal film containing defects that give rise to distinctive spiral patterns in the film’s texture. A Ginzburg-Landau type model describes this phenomena and the investigation provides a detailed analysis of minimal energy configurations for the film’s director field. The study demonstrates the existence of a limiting location for the defects (vortices) so as to minimize a reduced energy. In this talk, I will demonstrate that the vector field will contain degree one defects and that it either has a radial configuration or circular configuration near each defect depending on the relative values of the two dimensional moduli for the film. I will also discuss the characterization of a renormalized energy for the problem and show that it is minimized by the location of these defects.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Sean Colbert-Kelly received his B.S. in mathematics from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2005. He then began his graduate work at Purdue University, where he received his M.S. in mathematics in 2008, then his Ph.D. in 2012 under the advisement of Dr. Daniel Phillips. In January of 2013, he began his NRC Postdoctoral appoint with Dr. Geoffrey McFadden.

Presentation Slides: PDF

Contact: B. Cloteaux

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Last updated: 2013-05-28.