Topology and nematic ordering

Paul E. Lammert, Daniel S. Rokhsar, John Toner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


We consider the weakly first-order phase transition between the isotropic and ordered phases of nematics in terms of the behavior of topological line defects. Specifically, we present analytical and Monte Carlo results for a new coarse-grained theory of nematics which incorporates the inversion symmetry of nematics as a local gauge invariance. Increasing the disclination core energy makes the nematic-isotorpic transition more weakly first order, and eventually splits it into two continuous transitions which involve the unbinding and condensation of defects, respectively. We find a novel isotropic phase with toplogical order.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1650-1653
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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