Confining Instabilities in Complex Plasma

  • A.A.Samarian, S.V.Vladimirov
  • Published 2003


It is shown that the stability of the vertical and horizontal confinement of colloidal “dust" particles levitating in a complex plasma appears as a non-trivial interplay of the external confining forces as well as the interparticle interactions and collective processes such as the plasma wake. In the laboratory experiments, the micrometer sized highly charged dust grains levitate in the sheath region under the balance between the gravitational and electrostatic forces acting in the vertical direction as well as the externally imposed confining potential applied in the horizontal plane [1]. The vertical confinement involving the gravity force and the electrostatic force acting on the dust particles with variable charges is a complex process exhibiting oscillations, disruptions and instabilities [2-6]. A characteristic feature of the particle confinement is also the strong influence of plasma collective processes such as the plasma wake [7, 8]. Consider two colloidal particles of mass M and charges Q, separated by the distance x d horizontally (i.e., aligned along the x-axis), see Fig. 1a or zd vertically (aligned along the z-axis), see Fig. 1b. In the simplest approximation, the

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{AASamarian2003ConfiningII, title={Confining Instabilities in Complex Plasma}, author={A.A.Samarian and S.V.Vladimirov}, year={2003} }