An optical interference method has been developed to measure the distribution of the molecular director in an oriented cylindrical sample of nematic liquid crystal. The ratio of the elastic constants KB/KS can be obtained. Unlike other methods this one does not require independently measured quantities or the application of an external field. One interferogram is sufficient to determine refractive indexes and the elastic constant ratio. The hypothesis of strong anchoring can be tested directly.
© 1981 Optical Society of America
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