Edit Proposal: Milestone-Proposal:First Exploration and Proof of Liquid Crystals, 1889 You do not have permission to edit this page, for the following reason: You are not currently logged in. The action you have requested is limited to users in the group: Users. Please log in or create an account. Docket ID: (admins only) Thank you for proposing a technical achievement for possible recognition as an IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing. Your efforts help preserve the heritage of technology. Detailed information on the Milestone application process may be found at: Milestone Guidelines and How to Propose a Milestone. At least one of the proposer(s) must be an IEEE Member (including Student Member) in good standing. To the proposer’s knowledge, is this achievement subject to litigation? If the answer is "yes", the proposal cannot proceed further. Yes No You must be able to answer "yes" to all of the following questions. 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Yes No Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated? Yes No Has the owner of the site given permission to place an IEEE plaque? Yes No Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred: Title of the proposed milestone. (Include date or date range in title. Example: “Alternating Current Electrification, 1886”) Please provide a plaque citation in English summarizing the achievement and its significance. Text absolutely limited by plaque dimensions to 70 words; 60 is preferable for aesthetic reasons. NOTE: The IEEE History Committee shall have final determination on the wording of the citation. Names of living persons are not normally used in citations. Exceptions to this are cases where the person's name is linked to the achievement itself (e.g. the Lempel-Ziv algorithm, Maxwell's Equations, etc.) or where the person's name is so widely recognizeable to the general public that it makes sense to use it. When used, the names should be the names of the engineers, scientists, or technologists who actually made the achievement, rather than managers or executives. For more information and suggestions about writing milestone citations, please visit Helpful Hints on Citations, Plaque Locations. The first liquid crystal materials were characterized in 1889 by Otto Lehmann in this building. Lehmann recognized the existence of a new state of matter, “flüssige Kristalle” or liquid crystals, which flows like a liquid but has the optical property of double refraction characteristic of crystals. Lehmann’s work on these compounds opened the door to further liquid crystal research and eventually displays and other applications. In what IEEE section(s) will the milestone plaque(s) reside? Please specify the IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone, and supply name and contact information for the senior officer from those OU(s). 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In the space below, please describe in detail: the historic significance of the achievement, its importance to the evolution of electrical and computer engineering and science, its importance to regional/national/international development, its benefits to humanity, the ways the achievement was a significant advance rather than an incremental improvement of existing technology. The material submitted here will constitute the main descriptive article on the ETHW website for readers to learn about the milestone. Space is unlimited, and detail is encouraged. Most milestones require 1000 to 1500 words of support, however there is no word limit. The article should be readable by a wide audience that includes practicing engineers, scholars of history, and the general public. Some examples of the text of good milestone articles are First Radio Astronomical Observations Using Very Long Baseline Interferometry] and G3_Facsimile International Standardization of G3 Facsimile (Do not worry about the formatting of the page, IEEE History Center Staff will do that afterwards.) What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)? Crystals are well-known since olden times. Since the work of Christiaan Huygens their optical properties, double refraction and polarization especially, have been well-understood in all details. Crystals have been merely known as solids, regardless whether they show the extreme temper of diamond or the plastic modification of iodine silver. In 1889 this utterly changed by the discovery and proof of liquid crystals. On March 14, 1888 the Austrian botanist Friedrich Reinitzer at German University of Prague passed a letter (see references: 9. Reinitzer’s letter to Lehmann (excerpt), translation from Peter M. Knoll, Hans Kelker, “Otto Lehmann, Researcher of the Liquid Crystals“, Books on Demand, Norderstedt 2010, ISBN 978-3-8391-7439-5) with two samples of cholesterol-acetate and cholesterol-benzoate to Otto Lehmann, at that time Associate Professor at Polytechnic College Aachen. Lehmann was already renowned for his crystallization microscope and for his work on isomorphism and polymorphism of crystals. He had discovered the quintuple polymorphism of ammonium-nitrate and explored the plastic modification of iodine silver. In his samples Reinitzer had made the observation of groups of crystals floating in a liquid, dramatic colour phenomenon affected by temperature and even more baffling two different melting points. He asked Lehmann for help and explanation (see references: 1. Knoll & Kelker, “Otto Lehmann”, pp. 48-77, excerpt from Peter M. Knoll, Hans Kelker, “Otto Lehmann, Researcher of the Liquid Crystals“, Books on Demand, Norderstedt 2010, ISBN 978-3-8391-7439-5; 2. Dunmur & Sluckin, “Crystals that flow”, pp. 17-39, excerpt from David Dunmur, Tim Sluckin, “Soap, Science, & Flat-Screen TVs, A history of liquid crystals”, Oxford University Press 2011, ISBN 978-0-19-954940-5; 3. Sluckin et al., “Liquid Crystals or Anisotropic Liquids”, pp. 3-24, excerpt from Timothy J. Sluckin, David A. Dunmur, Horst Stegemeyer, “Crystals that flow. Classic papers from the history of liquid crystals”, Taylor & Francis, London/New York 2004, ISBN 0-415-25789-1). Lehmann began to inspect the samples but could not spend much time on it since he just had been appointed as Extraordinary Professor at the Polytechnic College Dresden. Only after he succeeded of Heinrich Hertz as Full Professor at Technische Hochschule Karlsruhe in April 1889 he launched profound research on the cholesterol-benzoate. He reported his first results in a letter of 20 August 1889 to Reinitzer. Instead of crystals floatíng in a liquid he stated a homogeneous mass of plastic crystals, which he described as isomeric modification of the substance with “such a significant plasticity, that one can almost call it liquid”. His paper “Über fließende Krystalle” was published 1889 in Zeitschrift für Physikalische Chemie (see references: 4. Lehmann “On flowing Crystals“, pp.42-53, translation from Timothy J. Sluckin, David A. Dunmur, Horst Stegemeyer, “Crystals that flow. Classic papers from the history of liquid crystals”). It is the very first publication on liquid crystals. With his proof of the existence of liquid crystals on ammonium-oleate-hydrate and his immense work on more than 100 liquid crystal materials in close cooperation with the still today existing German chemical company E. Merck in Darmstadt, Lehmann founded liquid crystal technology. He opened the door for the work of others and for liquid crystal displays (LCD), finally. Certainly it took almost a century to the discovery of dynamic scattering of liquid crystals in 1968 by George Heilmeier and the invention of the twisted nematic LCD by Martin Schadt and Wolfgang Helfrich in 1970. Today liquid crystals possess a continuously growing field of application and LCDs dominate the huge international market for displays, in particular laptops, tablets and flat-screen TVs. What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome? The tenet of three states of matter, i.e. solid, liquid and gaseous, was commonly considered as indisputable. Therefore Lehmann’s work was confronted with skepticism and even with opponents. His most cutting adversary had been Gustav Tammann from University Göttingen, who insisted that the liquid crystal phase was rather a colloidal emulsion (see references: 1., 2. and 3.). At the annual meeting of German Bunsen Society 1905 in Karlsruhe Lehmann gave a demonstration of liquid crystal phenomena and Rudolf Schenk from University Marburg a short introduction where he explained the falsity of Tammann’s colloidal interpretation (see references: 5. Schenk, “On Crystalline Liquids and Liquid Crystals”, pp. 64-75, translation from Timothy J. Sluckin, David A. Dunmur, Horst Stegemeyer, “Crystals that flow. Classic papers from the history of liquid crystals”). In the discussion Tammann stated: “Soft crystals exist unquestionably, there also should be flowing crystals for all I care, but liquid crystals? Never!” The session chair Jacobus van t’Hoff proposed a commission of German Bunsen Society to clarify the controversy. This assembled in 1906 but no agreement could be obtained. Liquid crystals became the life-work of Otto Lehmann (see references: 1., 2. and 3.). He solitarily explored them from different aspects such as physics, physical chemistry and electricity. He was nominated for the Nobel price by Carl Benedicks, member of the Nobel committee, first in 1913 and last time in 1922, the year of the sudden death of Lehmann. What features set this work apart from similar achievements? Remarkable phenomenon with melting and solidifying of cholesterol-compounds had been observed by M. Berthelot and others already in the 1860th, prior to Reinitzer. But they attributed this to contamination of their preparations. Reinitzer transmitted very pure samples to Otto Lehmann to start his work therewith. In May 1888 Reinitzer published his early observations of liquid crystals with colours and double melting (see references: 10. Reinitzer, “Contribution to the Understanding of Cholesterol”, pp.26-41, translation from Timothy J. Sluckin, David A. Dunmur, Horst Stegemeyer, “Crystals that flow. Classic papers from the history of liquid crystals”), although he did not recognize them as such. This was left to Lehmann. Lehmann was the prime researcher of liquid crystals and for more than a decade the only one to promote the subject. Only fifteen years after his first publication new names appeared in the field, foremost Daniel Vorländer at University of Halle, Germany, and Georges Friedel at St. Étienne, France. In an article published 1907 Vorländer showed that the real origin of liquid crystallinity is not so much a microscopic shape as noted by Lehmann but rather molecular shape (see references: 6. Vorländer, “Influence of Molecular Configuration on the Crystalline-Liquid State”, pp.84-88, translation from Timothy J. Sluckin, David A. Dunmur, Horst Stegemeyer, “Crystals that flow. Classic papers from the history of liquid crystals”). High influence on the further formation of the subject attained Friedel and his assistant Grandjean (see references: 7. Sluckin et al., “Anisotropic Liquids or Mesomorphic Phasses”, pp. 139-161, excerpt from Timothy J. Sluckin, David A. Dunmur, Horst Stegemeyer, “Crystals that flow. Classic papers from the history of liquid crystals”). In a paper published in 1910 they agreed that Lehmann’s liquids are representatives of a new state of matter. But different from Lehmann Friedel called them anisotropic liquids instead of liquid crystals. In 1922, the year of the sudden death of Lehmann, Friedel summarized the knowledge on the subject and introduced modern liquid crystal terminology (see references: 8. Friedel, “The Mesomorphic States of Matter”, pp. 162-173, translation excerpt from Timothy J. Sluckin, David A. Dunmur, Horst Stegemeyer, “Crystals that flow. Classic papers from the history of liquid crystals”). He affirmed three mesomorphic phases of matter which he called smectic, nematic and cholesteric. But Lehmann’s term “liquid crystal” was already widespread and remained in scientific usage. Supporting texts and citations to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or chapters in scholarly books. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article. 'Scholarly' is defined as peer-reviewed, with references, and published. The full reference, in English, must be uploaded, not just the citation. See below section for details on uploading material to the website. All supporting materials must be in English, or accompanied by an English translation. 1. Knoll & Kelker, “Otto Lehmann” 2. Dunmur & Sluckin, “Crystals that flow” 3. Sluckin et al., “Liquid Crystals or Anisotropic Crystals” 4. Lehmann, “On flowing Crystals” 5. Schenk, “On Crystalline Liquids and Liquid Crystals” 6. Vorländer, “Influence of Molecular Configuration on the Crystalline-Liquid State” 7. Sluckin et al., “Anisotropic Liquids or Mesomorphic Phases” 8. Friedel, “The Mesomorphic States of Matter” 9. Reinitzer, Letter dated March 14, 1888 to Lehmann 10. Reinitzer, “Contributions to the Understanding of Cholesterol” Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC) which can be made publicly available on the IEEE History Center’s website (i.e. unencumbered by copyright, or with the copyright holder’s permission). All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. Images and photographs are especially appreciated, however, it is necessary that you list the copyright owner for these and obtain the copyright owner’s permission to reuse. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information. To add attachments, first upload the file and add by adding the text: [[Media:(filename)]] For example, if the file you uploaded was named "Milestone Reference.pdf", include the text: [[Media:Milestone Reference.pdf]] in the appropriate field. [[Image:Otto Lehmann.jpg|thumb|center|Fig. 1 Otto Lehmann in his laboratory at Technische Hochschule Karlsruhe]] [[Image:TH Karlsruhe.jpg|thumb|center|Fig. 2 Lehmann’s laboratory had been in this main building of TH Karlsruhe]] [[Image:LC Box.jpg|thumb|center|Fig. 3 One out of two boxes in which Lehmann stored glass tubes filled with liquid crystals for his explorations in cooperation with the chemical company D. Merck in Darmstadt, Germany]] Please email a jpeg or PDF a letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property, and a letter (or forwarded email) from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application to email@example.com with the subject line "Attention: Milestone Administrator." Note that there are multiple texts of the letter depending on whether an IEEE organizational unit other than the section will be paying for the plaque(s). Submit this proposal to the IEEE History Committee for review. Only check this when the proposal is finished Summary: This is a minor edit Watch this page Cancel Retrieved from "http://ieeemilestones.ethw.org/Milestone-Proposal:First_Exploration_and_Proof_of_Liquid_Crystals,_1889"