A fluid of rod-like (achiral) liquid crystal molecules is placed inside a hollow cylinder. The molecules twist around one another to form chiral configurations. Various chiral structures are produced by a delicate balance of liquid crystalline bulk elasticity and surface conditions in confinement. These images reveal subtle differences in light transmission through the cylinders due to defects in the liquid that separate two structures with different handedness that meet in the cylinder.
Jeong, J., Kang, L, Davidson, Z.S., Collings, P.J., Lubensky, T.C., and Yodh, A.G., Chiral structures from achiral liquid crystals in cylindrical capillaries./PNAS/, *112*, E1837-E1844 (2015). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1423220112.
Beautiful Science page