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Soap, Science, and Flat-Screen TVs: A History of Liquid Crystals (Paperback)
  • Soap, Science, and Flat-Screen TVs: A History of Liquid Crystals (Paperback)
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Soap, Science, and Flat-Screen TVs: A History of Liquid Crystals (Paperback)

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£25.99
Paperback 384 Pages / Published: 29/05/2014
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The terms 'liquid crystal' or 'liquid crystal display' (LCD) are recognized in the context of flat-screen televisions, but the properties and history of liquid crystals are little known. This book tells the story of liquid crystals, from their controversial discovery at the end of the nineteenth century, to their eventual acceptance as another state of matter to rank alongside gases, liquids, and solids. As their story unfolds, the scientists involved and their works are put into illuminating broader socio-political contexts. In recent years, liquid crystals have had a major impact on the display industry, culminating in the now widely available flat-screen televisions. This development is described in detail over three chapters, and the basic science behind it is explained in simple terms accessible to a general reader. New applications of liquid crystals in materials, biosystems, medicine, and technology are also explained. The authors' approach to the subject defines a new genre of popular science books. The historical background to the scientific discoveries is given in detail, and the personal communications between the scientists involved are explored. The book tells the story of liquid crystals, but it also shows that scientific discovery and exploitation relies on human interactions, and the social and political environments in which they operate.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198700838
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 574 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Full of charming and not widely known historical anecdotes, this book describes the drama of liquid crystals science from its early days to modern technical applications. One of the most informative and entertaining pieces of popular science history I have seen in years. * Alexander Y. Grosberg, New York University *
Visual communication became transportable through the discovery of that strange state of matter, the liquid crystal. This history is a fascinating account of that discovery and its development and gives considerable insight into the social mechanisms of science in general. The authors do not evade the science itself, treating it lightly but appropriately. Altogether, a detailed, informative, and enthralling account of a crucial part of techonlogical and scientific history. * Peter Atkins, University of Oxford *
Dunmur and Sluckin tell an absorbing and colourful story of an area of science that is both rich at the fundamental level and that has brought some of the major new technologies of our age. They follow the twists and turns, and the conflicts, of the science and of the people pursuing it. It is satisfying too when the authors step back from time to time to give the modern view and therefore the resolution of the difficulties of the early protagonists. Most enjoyable! * Mark Warner, University of Cambridge *
... engaging monograph ... I recommend this cultured chronicle of the people and history of a delicate state of matter that has had a profound influence on the technologies of communications and displays. * Derry W. Jones, Contemporary Physics *
This is a truly stimulating look at the history and science of a little-understood phase of matter and a material that affects our lives every day [...] a truly useful addition to the pedagogical literature on liquid crystals. * Peter Collings, Physics Today *
It provides a perceptive insight into the evolution of the important area of soft matter and the development from this of an impressive display technology. * Geoffrey Luckhurst, Chemistry World *
The authors delightful weaving of the influence of first individuals and then commercial companies with the advances in science pertinent to developing displays makes for fascinating and entertaining reading. * Gerald R. Van Hecke, Science *
This is a readable introduction to an influential field, concentrating on personalities within political eras, and demonstrating that as complicated as the science might get, it is still a human endeavor, with all the attendant ambition, misunderstanding, dead ends and eventual enlightenment. * Rob Hardy, The Dispatch *
The liquid crystal display has changed the world and will continue to do so. 'Soap, Science, and Flat-Screen TVs' is a true and valuable history of its first 100 years, embracing as it does both the scientific literature and the history and socio-economic background of the individuals and institutions that make up the story. * Bill Crossland, Times Higher Education Supplement *

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