Liquid-crystal meaning

Any of various liquids in which the atoms or molecules are regularly arrayed along one or two dimensions, the order giving rise to optical properties, such as anisotropic scattering, associated with the crystals.
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A liquid in which nearby molecules have a fixed orientation with respect to each other: such liquids may exhibit some properties of crystals.
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Any of various liquids in which molecules are regularly arrayed like a solid crystal along one or two dimensions, but are free in the other dimensions as with typical liquids. Liquid crystals often display unusual and often manipulable optical properties such as anisotropic scattering.
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A liquid crystal is a state of matter between liquid and solid (a "mesophase"). They change shape like a fluid but have the molecular alignment characteristics of a solid crystal. Liquid crystals are composed of organic, rod-shaped molecules that align in parallel, and the common types used in electronic displays are nematic, cholesteric and smectic. See LCD, LCD types and LCD categories.Nematic LCsRandomly positioned in parallel, nematic LCs react quickly to electric fields, which is why they are used in the great majority of LCD screens. Meaning "thread" in Greek, nematic LCs are monostable and return to their original alignment when the electric field is removed.Cholesteric LCs (Chiral Nematic LCs)Cholesteric LCs are lined up in separate layers that form a spiral (helix). The displays retain their image without power (bistable) but are slower to react to changes than nematic screens. See cholesteric LCD.Smectic LCsPositioned side-by-side in layers, smectic LCs are bistable with similar attributes as cholesteric LCs. They retain their image without power and are slower to react than nematics. Smectic means "soapy" in Greek.Discovered in the 19th CenturyIn 1888, liquid crystals were identified by Austrian botanist Friedrich Reinitzer and German physicist Otto Lehmann. Studying the cholesterol in carrots using a temperature-controlled polarizing microscope, they noticed that the light passing through the carrot compound (later known as "cholesteryl benzoate") exhibited the refraction effect of a solid crystal when heat was applied. By 1907, Germany-based Merck was selling "liquid and flowing crystal" chemicals.
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(chemistry, physics) A phase of matter similar to a liquid, in which the molecules are arranged regularly in one or two dimensions.
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