This book presents the basic physics of ferroelectric and antiferroelectric liquid crystals in a simple and transparent way. It treats both the basic and the applied aspects of ferroelectric and antiferroelectric liquid crystal research, starting from the discovery of ferroelectricity in liquid crystals in 1975 and ending with the resonant X-ray experiment in ferrielectric and antiferrielectric phases in 1998. Particular attention is paid to the optical properties, electrooptic effects, phase transitions and experimental methods used in liquid crystal research. Special chapters are devoted to dielectric spectroscopy, light scattering, NMR, STM and AFM in complex fluids. The more than 300 illustrations help to present the basic physics of liquid crystalline ferroelectrics and antiferroelectrics in a way that can be easily followed by students, engineers and scientists dealing with liquid crystal research.

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