Ferroelectric phenomena in soft matter systems

May 12 to May 16, 2008

at the

American Institute of Mathematics, Palo Alto, California

organized by

Maria-Carme Calderer and Jie Shen

Original Announcement

This workshop will be devoted to the modeling, simulation and analysis of the ferroelectric phenomena in soft matter systems such as liquid crystals, elastomers and gels. The ferroelectric phenomena of these materials, such as its interaction with electric fields in switching processes, introduce new challenging problems that can only be properly addressed with a combined effort of theoretical and experimental physicists, and analytical and computational mathematicians.

From the point of view of working strategy, two main themes will be emphasized: the problem of switching for a liquid-like ferroelectric model, and that for a solid material with liquid features.

To motivate the role of each of these approaches, it may be useful to mention the static problems that characterize the on-off states of the switch. Whereas anlysis tools involved in studies of the former may resemble those associated with Ginzburg-Landau energies, those of the latter fall into the context of nonliner elasticity and the Flory-Huggins theory of polymers. In both cases, the coupling with the Maxwell's equations is very significant.

Material from the workshop

A list of participants.

The workshop schedule.

A report on the workshop activities.