Experimental confirmation of a Kibble-Zurek scaling law in a nematic liquid crystal

UoM administered thesis: Master of Science by Research

  • Authors:
  • Nicholas Fowler

Abstract

Umbilic defects with strength s = ±1 were generated via a Fréedericksz transition in a nematic liquid crystal with negative dielectric anisotropy. The defect density was measured as the rate at which the Fréedericksz transition occurred was varied. A scaling exponent which described how the defect density scaled with the rate at which the Fréedericksz transition occurred was calculated and found to be in good agreement with the theoretically predicted value. To our knowledge, this is possibly the first time that this scaling relationship has been confirmed experimentally in a condensed matter system.

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Original languageEnglish
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Award date1 Aug 2015