Woven Nematic Defects, Skyrmions, and the Abelian Sandpile Model

Thomas Machon, Gareth P. Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

1 Citation (Scopus)
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We show that a fixed set of woven defect lines in a nematic liquid crystal supports a set of nonsingular topological states which can be mapped on to recurrent stable configurations in the Abelian sandpile model or chip-firing game. The physical correspondence between local skyrmion flux and sandpile height is made between the two models. Using a toy model of the elastic energy, we examine the structure of energy minima as a function of topological class and show that the system admits domain wall skyrmion solitons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number237801
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number23
Early online date3 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2018

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