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Prof N V Madhusudana

Prof. Madhusudana (9 May 1944), an Indian Scientist specializing in Liquid crystals has trained many people in this area of physics. He retired from Raman Research Institute as Professor and Dean. After retirement he has been associated with RRI as INSA senior scientist and recently as an Emeritus scientist.

Early Years and Education

Prof Madhusudana was born to N Vedavyasachar and Indira Bai at Mysore. He had his early education at Mysore. He graduated in 1962 with BSc degree and acquired MSc in 1964 from University of Mysore. He acquired Ph.D. also from University of Mysore in 1971.


Prof Madhusudana started his career as Demonstrator at Saradavilas College, Mysore during 1964. He became Lecturer at the same college in 1965. He joined Physics department of University of Mysore as Research fellow in 1965 and became a Lecturer in 1971. He moved to Raman Research Institute as Scientist in 1971 and was Associate Professor during 1977-86. He became a Professor in 1986. He was Head of Liquid Crystals Lab of RRI during 1990-2000 and the Dean of research during 2001-2006. From 2006 he was INSA senior scientist and since 2011 an Emeritus scientist at RRI.

Prof Madhusudana was a Visiting Scientist at Solid State Physics Lab, Paris SUD University during 1983-84 and Visiting Associate Professor at Pascal Research Centre, Bordeaux University, France during 1984-85, Jawaharlal Nehru Professor, School of Physics, and University of Hyderabad during December 2009.

Scientific Work

A specialist in liquid crystals, Prof. Madhusudana proposed that near neighbor molecules of highly polar compounds have anti parallel correlations thus giving rise to an apolar director even in such compounds. However, if the polar molecules have long chains and the density is high, he showed that the dipole-induced dipole and chain interactions favour a parallel orientation, giving rise to phenomena like reentrant phases, nematic to nematic and smectic A to smectic A transitions. He showed that off-axis molecular dipoles give rise to the smectic C phase with tilted molecules and showed that flexo electricity makes an important contribution to electrohydrodynamic instabilities in nematics. Prof. Madhusudana developed a chiral axial next nearest neighbor xy model to account for the intermediate phases exhibited by anti ferroelectric liquid crystals and the changes in their structures by external electric fields. He developed frustrated packing model for the B6-B1-B2 sequence found in homologous series of bent-core molecules. He initiated work on multiline addressing schemes for LCDs. These are the theoretical aspects of his research work.

His experimental results include development of a new technique to measure the twist elastic constant of nematics, and discovered many relationships between elastic constants and molecular organizations. He discovered high strength defects in impure nematics; found unusual growth phenomena in smectic A and smectic C liquid crystals, and locomotion in the latter. He also found spontaneous chiral symmetry breaking in some smectic C cylinders and discovered a new phase called undulated twist grain boundary smectic C* with an extreme type II nature. He also discovered the biaxial smectic A phase in mixtures of bent-core and rod-like molecules, striking stripe structures in such a medium and anomalous temperature dependences of elastic constants in the nematic phase of mixtures. He developed a technique to measuring the local temperature and showed that quenching of director fluctuations by electric fields determines the field-induced enhancement of the nematic-isotropic transition temperature. Recently, he found that an unusual 'odd-even' effect in the properties of disulphide-bridged dimmers, depending on the chain length of the monomeric moiety. He also involved himself in cooperation with engineers of BEL to develop indigenous know how for manufacture of LCDs.


Prof. Prof. Madhusudana was elected as Fellow of Indian Academy of Science, Bangalore in 1974 and Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi in 2000.


Prof. Madhusudana has been a member of the International advisory board and invited speaker in a large number of international conferences and has served on the editorial boards of eight scientific journals, and is the secretary of the Current Science Association.

Awards & Distinctions

Prof. Madhusudana is the recipient of S. S. Bhatnagar Award in 1989, Superconductivity and Materials Science Prize of the Materials Society in 2000 and Raja Ramanna Endowment Prize Lecturer of JNCASR in 2003, among several other awards.


Listening to Karnatic Music and reading general science articles.

Born 9th May 1944
Mysore, India
Field: Liquid Crystals
Institutions Saradavilas College, Mysore
University of Mysore
Raman Research Institute, Bangalore
Alma mater University of Mysore
Awards Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award (1989)
Superconductivity and Materials Science Prize (2000)
Raja Ramanna Endowment Prize (2003)

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