Introduction to liquid crystals

This course is an introduction to liquid crystalline mesophases. It includes a brief overview of the textures, elastic and mean-field theories, response to external fields, basic optical properties, and some applications of liquid crystalline materials. Have a look at the lecture notes (3mb) or slides (6mb) for more details.


  1. The bible on liqud crystals: P. G. de Gennes and J. Prost, The Physics of Liquid Crystals.
  2. Excellent review of basic properties (many topics below are taken from this review): M. J. Stephen, J. P. Straley, Physics of liquid crystals.
  3. Symmetries, hydrodynamics, theory: P. M. Chaikin and T. C. Lubensky, Principles of Condensed Matter Physics.
  4. Defects: O. D. Lavrentovich and M. Kleman, Defects and Topology of Cholesteric Liquid Crystals; Oleg Lavrentovich, Defects in Liquid Crystals: Computer Simulations, Theory and Experiments.
  5. Optics: Iam-Choon Khoo, Shin-Tson Wu, Optics and Nonlinear Optics of Liquid Crystals.
  6. Textures: Ingo Dierking, Textures of Liquid Crystals.
  7. Simulations: Michael P. Allen and Dominic J. Tildesley, Computer simulation of liquids.
  8. Phenomenological theories: Epifanio G. Virga, Variational Theories for Liquid Crystals.