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A Millennium of Liquid Crystals

The structure of a soap film is now understood to be a triple layer of soap-water-soap, in which the water molecules are hydrogen-bonded to each other, giving strength and flexibility to the film. The soap molecules are typically long hydrocarbon chains with a polar hydrophilic end dissolved in the water layer, and nonpolar hydrophobic ends pointing towards the outside of the overall trilayer. It is this lamellar or layered structure that can properly be called a liquid crystal.


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