On some important chapters in the history of liquid crystals
Journal article, 2013
Before 1910, the study of liquid crystals was dominated by Lehmann and the German school of chemists. The point of gravity then moved to France with Friedel as a leading figure. While there are many studies about Lehmann, there are fewer about Friedel. He has written about himself, so to speak, and more people have cited him than read his original papers. In the first part of this historical review, I will, after a close reading of the original papers, trace the development on French soil between 1910 and 1922. After 1922, the progress stopped in France, but a renewal of interest in liquid crystals came from Germany in the late 1920s and the first international symposium was organised there in 1931, closely followed by one in England 1933. After the Second World War, a new symposium in 1958 revived the field and then came a new outburst of turbulent productivity in the late 1960s. My aim is to focus on some of the most prominent persons and some turning points also in this modern era. But my foremost aim is to illustrate that nothing happened in the straightforward way in which most texts tend to outline the history.
history of liquid crystals