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Title: Octupolar tensors for liquid crystals
Authors: Chen, Y
Qi, L 
Virga, EG
Keywords: Liquid crystals
Octupolar order tensors
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing
Source: Journal of physics. A, Mathematical and theoretical, 2018, v. 51, no. 2, 25206 How to cite?
Journal: Journal of physics. A, Mathematical and theoretical 
Abstract: A third-rank three-dimensional symmetric traceless tensor, called the octupolar tensor, has been introduced to study tetrahedratic nematic phases in liquid crystals. The octupolar potential, a scalar-valued function generated on the unit sphere by that tensor, should ideally have four maxima (on the vertices of a tetrahedron), but it was recently found to possess an equally generic variant with three maxima instead of four. It was also shown that the irreducible admissible region for the octupolar tensor in a three-dimensional parameter space is bounded by a dome-shaped surface, beneath which is a separatrix surface connecting the two generic octupolar states. The latter surface, which was obtained through numerical continuation, may be physically interpreted as marking a possible intra-octupolar transition. In this paper, by using the resultant theory of algebraic geometry and the E-characteristic polynomial of spectral theory of tensors, we give a closed-form, algebraic expression for both the dome-shaped surface and the separatrix surface. This turns the envisaged intra-octupolar transition into a quantitative, possibly observable prediction.
ISSN: 1751-8113
DOI: 10.1088/1751-8121/aa98a8
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