Orientational properties of nematic disclinations†
Topological defects play a pivotal role in the physics of liquid crystals and represent one of the most prominent and well studied aspects of mesophases. While in two-dimensional nematics, disclinations are traditionally treated as point-like objects, recent experimental studies on active nematics have suggested that half-strength disclinations might in fact possess a polar structure. In this article, we provide a precise definition of polarity for half-strength nematic disclinations, we introduce a simple and robust method to calculate this quantity from experimental and numerical data and we investigate how the orientational properties of half-strength disclinations affect their relaxational dynamics.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Liquid crystals