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Richard Vink: „Nematics with quenched disorder”
Uni Göttingen

The presence of immobile impurities (aka: quenched disorder) in fluids is often unavoidable. Fluid phase behavior is generally affected by these impurities. In this talk, the effects of quenched disorder on a liquid crystal undergoing an isotropic-to-nematic transition will be discussed. The presence of quenched disorder is shown to produce an unusually large violation of self averaging. We provide numerical evidence that in some cases this leads to the destruction of a well-defined thermodynamic limit. The practical consequence is that, even in large experimental samples, no unique phase behavior is to be expected.