Macroscopic Internal Variables and Mesoscopic Theory: A Comparison Considering Liquid Crystals
Internal and mesoscopic variables differ fundamentally from each other: both are state space variables, but mesoscopic variables are additionally equipped with a distribution function introducing a statistical item into consideration which is missing in connection with internal variables. Thus, the alignment tensor of the liquid crystal theory can be introduced as an internal variable or as one generated by a mesoscopic background using the microscopic director as a mesoscopic variable. Because the mesoscopic variable is part of the state space, the corresponding balance equations change into mesoscopic balances, and additionally an evolution equation of the mesoscopic distribution function appears. The flexibility of the mesoscopic concept is not only demonstrated for liquid crystals, but is also discussed for dipolar media and flexible fibers.
Published in: Entropy, 10.3390/e20010081, MDPI