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Prof Gleeson gives Inaugural Lecture

12 October 2015

Prof Helen Gleeson OBE, Cavendish Chair and Head of School elect gave her Inaugural Lecture on 7 October, 2015, entitled 'Looking through the Liquid Crystal Ball'.

Helen was appointed as Cavendish Professor of Physics at the beginning of 2015, becoming the first woman to hold the position, and will take over as Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy in September 2016

Helen heads up the Soft Matter Physics research group at Leeds and the focus of her lecture was her work on liquid crystals.

'We are all familiar with the concept of materials as solids, liquids or gases. Another state of matter, the liquid crystal phase, discovered well over 100 years ago, is responsible for revolutionising our lives in recent years. Liquid crystal devices (LCDs) have allowed the development of mobile technology and have fundamentally changed society. It’s now hard to imagine life without LCDs.”

In her talk Helen described some of the unique features of liquid crystals, explaining how the combination of order, fluidity and functionality is used in technology and by nature, and went on to provide an insight into the future by ‘looking through a liquid crystal ball’! This covered some of the new liquid crystal phases with nanostructures that offer completely new electro-optical phenomena and Helen speculated on some of the emerging non-display applications of liquid crystals, showing that understanding the physics of liquid crystals is both intellectually stimulating and could offer new practical solutions for the future.

You can see Helen’s full lecture presentation here…