The Molecular Dynamics of Liquid Crystals
Liquid-crystalline phases are now known to be formed by an ever growing range of quite diverse materials, these include those of low molecular weight as well as the novel liquid-crystalline polymers, such phases can also be induced by the addition of a solvent to amphiphilic systems leading to lyotropic liquid crystals. Irrespective of the structure of the constituent molecules these numerous liquid-cl)'Stailine phases are characterised by their long range orientational order. In addition certain phases exhibit elements of long range positional order. Our understanding, both experimental and theoretical, at the molecular level of the static behaviour of these fascinating and important materials is now well advanced. In contrast the influence of the long range order; both orientational and positional, on the molecular dynamics in liquid Cl)'Stais is less well understood. In an attempt to address this situation a NATO Advanced Study Institute devoted to liquid ctystal dynamics was held at n Ciocco, Barga, Italy in September 1989. This brought together experimentalists and theoreticians concerned with the various dynamical processes occurring in all liquid crystals. The skills of the participants was impressively wide ranging; they spanned the experimental techniques used in the study of molecular dynamics, the nature of the systems investigated and the theoretical models employed to understand the results. While much was learnt it was also recognised that much more needed to be done in order to advance our understanding of molecular dynamics in liquid Cl)'Stais.