A new electrooptic effect in certain classes of nematic liquid crystals is presented. The effect has been termed "dynamic scattering" because scattering centers are produced in the transparent, anisotropic medium due to the disruptive effects of ions in transit. The ions can be produced by field assisted dissociation of neutral molecules and/or Schottky emission processes. The rise times of 1 to 5 ms and decay times of less than 30 ms, together with dc operating voltages in the 10 to 100 V range, make dynamic scattering seem attractive for such applications as alphanumeric indicators, and do not preclude its use in line-at-a-time matrix addressed, real-time displays. Reflective contrast ratios of better than 15 to 1 with efficiencies of 45 percent of the standard white have been demonstrated.