Polarized Liquid Crystal

Liquid crystal A dazzling array of unusual patterns can be found in a thin, liquid crystalline film seen through a polarizing microscope. A crystalline substance is marked by an orderly arrangement of molecules over all, but distortions can arise from point to point, resulting in the striking visual forms such as those seen here. In the liquid crystal shown above, called a nematic fluid, there are rod-like, elongated molecules that are free to move around, but tend to be parallel to each other. Their average orientation, however, changes from place to place in the film, which is only a thousandth of a millimeter thick. (Image courtesy Oleg D. Lavrentovich, Kent State University)

link: http://www.world-science.net/


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3 thoughts on “Polarized Liquid Crystal

  1. It reminds me of the really great display of libby glass artwork at the Museum. That has always been one of my favorite parts of the Toledo Art Museum – even when I was a kid in kindergarden on a field trip I marveled at all the interesting swirls and colors.

    You know what is really interesting is that you can represent the above with calculus and fractals. The entire universe is one big math equation. Someday, someone will figure out the proof! If there is a God – God is a mathematician! A mathematician deals in logic and abstracts – such a God would never be the emotional sociopath represented by the Old Testiment – The Old Testiment is what eventually turned me off to evangelicalism. I remember when I was in Seminary in the early 80’s. My college campus was in Eastern Pensylvania at the top of a mountain – an amazingly beautiful campus. I had a class called “Old Testiment Theology and Hebrew Lexicon” at 7 in the morning. I’d have to walk across campus from my dorm at 6:30 in the morning to get to class – just as the sun was coming up in the east over the Eastern Pensylvania Appalachians – I’ve never felt closer to God during those cold winter walks to class alone in the late fall, early winter chill. And then to get to class and have to suffer through 3 hours of the “Wrath of God” – it was a case of extreme cognative dissonance for me.. That’s when I began to ask questions of myself. Eventually we all come to realize that it is calculus and fractals – from the geometry of a tree – to the chemicals driving the human psyche to slaughter.

  2. Well said, Steve and I share your abhorrence in identifying that Jewish tribal deity as our ‘God.’ I am about to embark on reading Stephen Hawking’s newest book, The Grand Design which, I suspect, has more astrophysics than Thou Shalt Not. I read a quick analysis of 8 points Hawking makes and one is that ‘God’ did not create the universe.

    The Live Science article says:

    “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going,” Hawking and Mlodinow write.

    Instead, the laws of science alone can explain why the universe began. Our modern understanding of time suggests that it is just another dimension, like space. Thus it doesn’t have a beginning.

    “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing,” they write. “Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.”

    To me, your crisp and beautiful sunrise in those eastern Pennsylvania mountains comes way-closer to ‘godliness’ than do the blood-stained pages of Exodus.

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