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Physical Review E


This paper concerns optical properties of the isotropic phase above the isotropic-cholesteric transition and of the blue phase BP III. We introduce an effective index, which describes spatial dispersion effects such as optical rotation, circular dichroism, and the modification of the average index due to the fluctuations. We derive the wavelength dependence of these spatial dispersion effects quite generally without relying on an expansion in powers of the chirality and without assuming that the pitch of the cholesteric P is much shorter than the wavelength of the light lambda, an approximation that has been made in previous studies of this problem. The theoretical predictions are supported by comparing them with experimental spectra of the optical activity in the BP III phase.


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