screen TV that can be hung on a wall like a painting could be just one of the results of
research being conducted by Dr Maureen Neal, Associate Dean of Coventry University's
School of Mathematical and Information Sciences, and colleagues from the High Performance
The Consortium which in addition to Coventry includes, Bristol, Durham and Sheffield
Hallam Universities, has been awarded over £226, 000 by the Engineering and Physical
Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
The grant, £40,000 of which comes to Coventry University, will be used molecular
modelling of liquid crystalline materials. Dr Neal explains:
"Everyone will be familiar with liquid crystal displays (LCDs) used on watches,
mobile phones and displays of all kinds. Part of the research we are doing is looking at
developing LCD technology to the point where it will replace cathode ray technology
currently used in TVs and computers.
"This will not only allow for the development of thin flat screen TVsbut also
miniturised screens that could allow hikers for example to have maps projected onto a
lightweight visor, linked to satellite tracking, which would enable them to know where
they are at all times", added Dr Neal.
Similar uses could include tiny eye level screens that surgeons could consult for
guidance during operations and repair manuals or wiring diagrams displayed for use by
engineers or mechanics.
Dr Neal and her colleagues have access from their own universities to a high-powered
computer at Edinburgh University, which they will use to simulate the movement in
molecules in what are known as the semi-ordered systems in liquid crystals.
"This is very demanding and exacting work, but hopefully will lead to significant
advances - with the possibility of a commercially available wall-hanging TV set as little
as seven years away", concludes Dr Neal.