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Lab – 5: PHY3050, PHY4050 and PHY6050 Experimental Soft matter physics/Complex systems (Elective course)

What will you learn from this course?
The aim of this course is to teach you how to set up an experiment from scratch.
a) You will learn - depending on what experiment you choose - the basic physics of liquid crystals/ transport phenomena in electrolyte systems/ physics of fluid mechanics.
b) Handling and preparing samples/cells and doing measurements.
c) Programming some instruments using LabView or Matlab/ basics of image processing etc.
The complexity/rigour of the course will depend on the level you choose.
All experiments in this course will be related to complex systems (Liquid Crystals, Electrolytes,
Non-Newtonian fluids), and the following are the possible experiments.

  1. Measuring curvature elasticity in a couple of liquid crystal samples by Optical Freedericks
    Transition method.
  2. Measuring flexo-coefficient by analyzing flexo patterns.
  3. Characterizing Convective and dielectric instability in negative and/or small positive
    dielectic anisotropy liquid crystals.
  4. Optical activity of twisted nematic cell.
  5. Optical characterization of phase transition in a liquid crystal.
  6. Gravity current on a horizontal plane at constant volume and constant flux.
  7. IV characterization of electro-convection in an electrolyte cell.
    In the first four weeks, you will be learning how to interface instruments with a computer and
    program it with Lab View and Matlab using SCPI (Standard Commands for Programmable
    Instrument). Depending on your progress in this course and the level (3000/4000/6000),
    experiments will be allotted. You will be learning the physics behind the experiments while
    performing the measurement. Professor will introduce the basic concepts and experimental ideas. You have
    to refer to the original research articles and books to know more about the experiment/physics
    ideas. The number of experiments you are going to perform will depend on the complexity of the
    experiment you choose. My guess is that you may end up doing minimum/maximum two/three
    experiments.

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka