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Solution: What observations made by Reinitzer on cholesteryl benzoate suggested that this substance possesses a liquid crystalline phase?

Problem

What observations made by Reinitzer on cholesteryl benzoate suggested that this substance possesses a liquid crystalline phase?

Solution

Friedrich Reinitzer discovered that the organic compound cholesteryl benzoate has an interesting and unusual property. Solid cholesteryl benzoate melts at 145˚C and forms a viscous, milky liquid. And then at temperatures above 179˚C, the viscous, milky liquid turns clear, as shown in the figure below:

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