Physics & Astronomy ETDs

Publication Date



The study of the organic solid state, and in particular of plastic crystals, is a relatively new branch of physics (1,2). Timmermans first surmised the existence of these solids from the anomalous values of the entropies of fusion. The solids possess many of the characteristics of liquids. They are easily deformed by pressure and they show dielectric properties that can be described on the basis of rotation of the molecules in their lattice positions. Still they have a definite crystal structure. Thus, even though the molecules are not symmetric, they appear to be to some degree because of the rotation. As a result of the symmetry, certain assumptions can be made which allow the elastic constants to be determined from the velocity measurements in the solids.

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Level of Degree


Department Name

Physics & Astronomy

First Committee Member (Chair)

John Root Green

Second Committee Member

Christopher Pratt Leavitt

Third Committee Member

Victor H. Reneger



Document Type