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Liquid Crystals - About

The Crystallite and Mainstream game with related reading are based on the 1991 Nobel Prize in Physics, which was awarded for revealing the patterns in which molecules are arranged in complex materials, like liquid crystals and polymers (plastics).

 

First published: September 2003
Estimated play time: 10 min.
Plug in requirements: Flash 5  »
Sound: Yes
High score: Yes
Credits  »

Crystallite Game

- What is special about a liquid crystal?
- What are liquid crystals used for?

Liquid crystals are partly ordered materials, somewhere between their solid and liquid phases. Their molecules are often shaped like rods or plates or some other forms that encourage them to align collectively along a certain direction. The order of liquid crystals can be manipulated with mechanical, magnetic or electric forces. Finally, liquid crystals are temperature sensitive since they turn into solid if it is too cold, and into liquid if it is too hot. This phenomenon can, for instance, be observed on laptop screens when it is very hot or very cold.

This Tetris-like game centres around the different types of pattern found in liquid crystal molecules. Take control of a liquid crystal molecule and try to fit it within the regular pattern of other liquid crystal molecules. There are eleven levels.

For instructions on how to play the game, click on the HELP button found at the bottom of the game window.

Mainstream Game

In this game you have to take control of a small vehicle and guide it safely through a field of liquid crystal molecules. Don't collide with the molecules, or your vehicle will crash. You have to reach the other side before time runs out. There are an infinite number of levels in this game.

For instructions on how to play the game, click on the HELP button found at the bottom of the game window.

Reading: "History and Properties of Liquid Crystals"

- An Entirely New Phase of Matter
- What is so special about Liquid Crystals?
- Liquid Crystal Phases
- How do Liquid Crystal Displays Work?

Read "History and Properties of Liquid Crystals" »


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MLA style: "Liquid Crystals - About". Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2013. Web. 23 Apr 2014. <http://www.nobelprize.org/educational/physics/liquid_crystals/about.html>

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