Friday, May 3, 2013

1305.0143 (Thomas Machon et al.)

Nematics, Knots and Non-orientable Surfaces    [PDF]

Thomas Machon, Gareth P. Alexander
Knots and knotted fields enrich physical phenomena ranging from DNA and molecular chemistry to the vortices of fluid flows and textures of ordered media. Liquid crystals provide an ideal setting for exploring such topological phenomena through control of their characteristic defects. The use of colloids in generating defects and knotted configurations in liquid crystals has been demonstrated for spherical and toroidal particles and shows promise for the development of novel photonic devices. Extending this existing work, we describe the full topological implications of colloids representing non-orientable surfaces and use it to construct torus knots and links of type ($p$,2) around multiply-twisted M\"obius strips.
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