Abstract V.K. Freedericksz was born on April 29, 1885 in the family of a major Russian official. After graduation from the high school, Freedericksz continued his education at the University of Geneva. He wrote his PhD thesis under the C. Guye’s supervision in 1909. Afterwards Freedericksz worked at the University of Göttingen, at first with V. Voigt, and since 1914 together with D. Hilbert he was developing the General Theory of Relativity. In 1918 Freedericksz returned to Russia and started his work at the Leningrad State University (LSU) and at the Institute of Technical Physics (ITP). Freedericksz began to study LC in 1923. The first article written together with A. Repieva was published in 1927. It was proved that the nematic LC in a magnetic field is oriented due it’s diamagnetic anisotropy Δχ, and the effect has a threshold. In 1929 together with V. Zolina Freedericksz derived and experimentally proved the «Freedericksz’s equation»:
In 1935 V. Freedericksz and V. Tsvetkov published four articles in which the behavior of nematic LC in the electric field was studied. The observed effects and their interpretation are the basis of all modern LC display devices. After Freedericksz was arrested in 1936, the LC studies were continued at LSU (SPbU) until the present.
Keywords: liquid crystals, effect of the Freedericksz transition