Dusty plasma

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A dusty plasma is a plasma containing nanometer or micrometer-sized particles suspended in it. Dust particles may be charged and the plasma and particles behave as a plasma, following electromagnetic laws for particles up to about 10 nm (or 100 nm if large charges are present). Dust particles may form larger particles resulting in "grain plasmas".

Dusty plasmas are encountered in:

Dusty plasmas are interesting because the presence of particles significantly alters the charged particle equilibrium leading to different phenomena. It is a field of current research. Electrostatic coupling between the grains can vary over a wide range so that the states of the dusty plasma can change from weakly coupled (gaseous) to crystalline. Such plasmas are of interest as a non-Hamiltonian system of interacting particles and as a means to study generic fundamental physics of self-organization, pattern formation, phase transitions, and scaling.


The temperature of dust in a plasma may be quite different from its environment. For example:

<table class="wikitable" style="margin:auto;"><tr><th>Dust plasma component</th><th>Temperature</th></tr><tr><td>Dust temperature</td><td align=right>10 K</td></tr><tr><td>Molecular temperature</td><td...
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