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I am an undergraduate student in an introduction to condensed matter physics course and I am struggling to understand the process of Landau expansion of order parameter S as it relates to liquid crystals.

I am particularly interested in Landau expanding Maier-Saupe free energy density. But first I really just need good foundational knowledge as to what Landau expansion is. Is it as simple as a taylor expansion about a particular order parameter?

I apologize if this question is too vague I am new to stack exchange. I will gladly elaborate or rephrase. Thanks all.

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