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Kai Huang

PD Dr. rer. nat. habil.

Universität Bayreuth
Physikalisches Institut
Experimentalphysik V
95440 Bayreuth

Tel.: +49-921-55-3325 
Fax.: +49-921-55-3647 
email: kai.huang@uni-bayreuth.de 
Gebäude NW II, Zimmer 

Liquid crystals vs. Spaghetti

Universality across equilibrium and nonequilibrium systems.

Uncooked Spaghetti are sometimes used to explain the concept of a (nematic) liquid crystal (LC). However, Spaghetti thrown to the ground will not lead to any of the rich ordered states of liquid crystals because they fall into the class of granular rods with dissipative particle-particle interactions.

This investigation (arXiv) on granular rods suggests that Spaghetti can form various ordered states as LC, provided that sufficient energy is injected to compensate the dissipation. Such a bridge between systems in (e.g. liquid crystals) and out of (e.g. granular rods) thermodynamic equilibrium helps to extend existing knowledge of LC systems to the wide-spreading nonequilibrium systems in nature: From bacteria colonies to fish schools.


Universität Bayreuth - Kai Huang