LIQUID CRYSTALS with COLLOIDS - 2D RESULTS
The original experimental motivation was colloids in liquid crystals -
some liquid crystals are themselves colloids, but the current focus is a few larger colloids mixed with smaller colecules.
Unfortunately, adding colloids greatly complicates groundstate search.
Its even harder than the telescope phasing because distinct domains like to form. Structural questions due to competing interactions similar to those for the 3D quadrupoles, whose Pa_3 groundstate is a compromize, but the system can go glassy under dilution.
Two options for colloid/lc interation -
colloids wanting liquid crystals parallel to their surface or perpendicular.
The students, Priel and Oshri selected the former;
intuitive explanation that when you push 1 rod-like object to a big sphere-like object the rod-like object will try to be parallel in order not to be squashed, all the other rod-like object are more affected by the rod-like object near them than the sphere-like object which is much further away.
The same explanation (but the opposite result) in the case when the molecules attract each other the rod-like molecule would like to get closer to the sphere-like molecule and that why it would be perpendicular (hedgehog-like).