Laboratory Dusty Plasmas

Dusty plasmas (also called "complex" or "fine particle" plasmas) are four-component plasma systems that consist of a background plasma (electrons, ions, and neutral atoms) and charged microparticles (i.e., "dust"). In laboratory experiments, the dust particles become charged by collecting ions and electrons from the background plasma. Therefore, when suspended in the plasma, these dust particles fully interact with and are electrically coupled to the plasma.

The enhanced image below showsthe glow of a plasma (red/pink) and a suspended particle cloud (inside of the white circle). The green glow is due to reflections of green laser light from the interior surfaces of the plasma chamber.

dust and plasma

National Science Foundation (NSF)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

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