Knots and nonorientable surfaces in chiral nematics

Thomas J Machon, Gareth P. Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Knots and knotted fields enrich physical phenomena ranging from DNA and molecular chemistry to the vortices of fluid flows and textures of ordered media. Liquid crystals provide an ideal setting for exploring such topological phenomena through control of their characteristic defects. The use of colloids in generating defects and knotted configurations in liquid crystals has been demonstrated for spherical and toroidal particles and shows promise for the development of novel photonic devices. Extending this existing work, we describe the full topological implications of colloids representing nonorientable surfaces and use it to construct torus knots and links of type (p,2) around multiply twisted Möbius strips.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14174-14179
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2013


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