Novel Modelling Insights Into Confined Soft Matter Systems

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Novel Modelling Insights Into Confined Soft Matter Systems

 18 - 19 May 2020


  • Apala Majumdar, University of Strathclyde
  • Lei Zhang, Beijing International Center for Mathematical Research, Peking University
  • Yucen Han, Beijing International Center for Mathematical Research, Peking University


Apala Majumdar and Lei Zhang co-lead a Royal Society Newton Advanced Fellowship on solution landscapes in confined nematic liquid crystalline systems. Nematic liquid crystals are anisotropic mesophases intermediate between conventional solid and liquid states of matter; indeed the anisotropic directional nature of nematics makes them the working material of choice for the multi-billion dollar liquid crystal display industry along with a range of other electro-optic applications, sensors, actuators and novel applications in biology and pharmacology.

This bilateral UK-China fellowship has been successful, with three project research outputs to date, and two research workshops (the first workshop in Bath in 2018 and a second workshop in Changchun, China in 2019). This fellowship has involved researchers from the University of Strathclyde, University of Oxford, Peking University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Illinois University of Technology, University of Waterloo Canada etc.

This focussed workshop brings together the project participants on a virtual platform, from the UK, China, USA and Canada. The talks covered: theoretical approaches to novel liquid-crystalline systems; numerical methods for computing complex solution landscapes, including the relatively open field of saddle point solutions; modelling of biological liquid crystalline systems; and new experiments in the field. This virtual platform allows us to consolidate our recent work and theoretical advances, propose new collaborative projects at the interface of analysis and applications and organise follow-up activities and international networks spanning three continents.


Lei Zhang, Peking University Construct the Solution Landscape on a complicated energy landscape
Lei Zhang, Shanghai JiaoTong University Modeling and Simulation of a Microswimmer in Nematic Liquid Crystal
Patrick Farrell, University of Oxford Computing Multiple Equilibria of Nematic and Smectic Liquid Crystals
Chun Liu, Illinois Institute of Technology Generalized Law of Mass Action (LMA) with Eergetic Variational Approaches (EnVarA)
Jeff Chen, University of Waterloo Rodlike Molecules in Extreme Confinement
Yiwei Wang, Illinois Institute of Technology A Discrete Energetic Variational Approach to Generalized Diffusions, Gradient Flows and Beyond
Nigel Mottram, University of Glasgow Elastic Effects in Liquid Crystal Droplets and Thin-Films

Sponsors and Funders:

This seminar series was supported as part of the ICMS/INI Online Mathematical Sciences Seminars.