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The Role of Initial Conditions in the Decay of Spatially Periodic Patterns in a Nematic Liquid Crystal

Nandor Eber ,Werner Pesch ,Lorenz Kramer ,Agnes Buka

Research Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics, Budapest
University of Bayreuth

The decay of stripe patterns in planarly aligned nematic liquid crystals has been studied exper- imentally and theoretically. The initial patterns have been generated by the electrohydrodynamic instability and a light di®raction technique has been used to monitor their decay. In our experi- ments di®erent decay rates have been observed as a function of the pattern wavenumber. According to our theoretical analysis they belong to a spectrum of decay modes and are individually selected in dependence on the initial conditions. Additional insight has emerged from a reŻned physical optical description of the di®raction intensity. The results compare well with experiments, which include also controlled modiŻcations of the initial conditions to assess di®erent decay modes.

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