Cortona 2005
Soft Matter Mathematical Modelling
Round Tables

Round Table Discussions

Two discussion sessions are being organized within the Workshop, where spontaneous contributions could be hosted. Two Colleagues have kindly accepted to orchestrate and chair them. Each chairman could invite specific contributions to the programme; he also decides whether to accept within his session contributions volunteered by applicants. The ideal format for a discussion presentation would be 15+5 minutes. Below are the themes of the discussions along with the contact addresses of their chairmen. Interested contributors should send an abstract of their intended presentation to the relevant chairman.

Discussion session on Biaxial Nematics

chaired by N. Mottram

Since 1970, when Marvin Freiser of IBM predicted that long and flat molecules could form a biaxial nematic phase, chemists have been attempting to synthesise such a liquid crystal. Whilst lyotropic and polymer biaxial phases were found, a low molecular weight, thermotropic phase proved more difficult to create. However, in 2004 two groups in America published their studies of bent-core molecules which suggest that their molecules may form the elusive biaxial nematic phase. Since then interest in biaxial phases and bent-core molecules has increased significantly. The discussion session will consider progress in synthesis, characterisation and the mathematical theory of these materials as well as the potential technological advantages of the biaxial nematic phase.

Abstracts and titles of the planned contributions are available in PDF format here.

Discussion session on Liquid Crystal Elastomers

chaired by E.M. Terentjev

This new class of soft elastic systems has rapidly elevated itself from a peculiar variety of materials, originally developed by Heino Finkelmann, to a focal point of several directions in applied mathematics, physics and engineering. Some key properties of LCE, in particular, their equilibrium continuous shape-memory feature, promise new applications in actuators. Other issues are hotly disputed between different researchers and groups, for instance, the formulation of continuum theory of nematic elastomers, or the representation of soft elasticity in dynamics. The session will give an opportunity to lay down and discuss the controversies, as well as outline the prospects for future development of this field.

Last revised on 6 September 2005.
Andre M Sonnet