Abstract

A theoretical approach to the fascinating effect of the grating action of a periodically distorted nematic liquid crystal layer, under the realistic assumption of small distortion angles, is presented. The approach, being wave optical, equips us with tools that permit us (a) to test and fit data obtained during electrohydrodynamic instability experiments, (b) to furnish criteria for the extent of validity of the geometrical-optical methods, and (c) to have at our disposal easy-to-compute results for testing computational methods of more general validity.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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