Physics of liquid crystals

Michael J. Stephen, Joseph P. Straley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

609 Scopus citations


This review discusses the physical properties of nematic, cholesteric, and smectic liquid crystals. Molecular theories of the liquid crystal phases are discussed and the molecular field theories of the phase transitions between the various liquid crystal phases are presented. The elastic theory and hydrodynamics of liquid crystals is developed. A wide variety of phenomena in liquid crystals, including elastic distortions, disclinations, flow properties, fluctuations, light scattering, wave propagation, nuclear magnetic resonance, effects of magnetic and electric fields, electrohydrodynamics, and optical properties, is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-704
Number of pages88
JournalReviews of Modern Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1974

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (all)


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