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Yearbook 2022: Liquid Crystal meets ultrafast laser spectroscopy

Liquid Crystals (LCs) represent a benchmark material to study phenomena which occur across different states of matter, occupying a spot between solids and liquids. They self-assemble, giving rise to new phases of matter in which they show no positional order but long range orientational order. In 2015 we demonstrated that very short optical pulses can excite the weakly bound electron clouds in LCs producing a modulation of their refractive index in the picosecond time scale. This is our starting point for a deeper understanding of the ultrafast dynamics in LCs.