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.
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.
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.