Charged particles on spherical droplets (3D rendering of confocal micrograph) In the image on the left, the white dots are fluorescent PMMA particles, which bind to the interior surface of a spherical oil droplet. At low density, the system appears disordered (left droplet). However, as the spacing between the particles is reduced, the system becomes more ordered (right droplet). How can we describe this apparent phase behavior?
Unfolding an icosahedral projection. By using an icosahedral projection to map the particle positions to flat space, the long-range orientational order in the system becomes apparent.
Fitting the defect positions. By using an appropriate combination of spherical harmonics, we can find the best global fit of the defect particles to the vertices of an icosahedron.