A two dimensional pattern with a three dimensional perspective: A Grandjean texture of a chiral nematic liquid crystal, in this case in SCE9, imaged in transmission between crossed polarizer and analyzer. Rotating the picture by 90º (see below) makes it easier to recognize the oily streaks, edge dislocation pairs in the otherwise uniform twist of the helical pitch between the cell plates. The vertical dimension is about 400 µm. This image is provided courtesy of the Michi Nakata Foundation, and is copyrighted by the Foundation.
Jury comment: a very unusual, beautiful, and truly fascinating texture photo. Before doing the rotation it is very difficult to recognize that this is an oily streak texture of a cholesteric. The 3D feeling is impressive.

A section of the same picture rotated by 90°. In this orientation the oily streak texture of the cholesteric phase is easier to recognize.

Michi Nakata (1975 -2006),

featured ILCC liquid crystal artist, July 2009

of those who knew and loved her, and for the community of science. As a graduate student Michi emerged as a leader in the study of liquid crystals, and was awarded the Glenn Brown Prize in 2006 for her work on bent cores.

Michi believed that science should be beautiful so it is not surprising that she was enchanted by the mystery and beauty of liquid crystals. In the few short years of her career she became a consummate artist, teasing liquid crystal textures to do her bidding, and capturing the results in the microscope with stunning detail and perfection. We share this image in her memory.

For more information about the Michi Nakata Foundation, please contact Prof. Noel Clark.
Michi Nakata was born in 1975, walking distance from Tokyo Institute of Technology, where she received her Pd.D in 2004. From 2003-6 she was a graduate student and postdoctoral researcher in the Liquid Crystal Materials Research Center of the University of Colorado. Michi passed away in Boulder in 2006, a tragic loss for all