Microscopic Particle Motions in Strongly Coupled Dusty Plasmas

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Science  14 Jun 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5268, pp. 1626-1628
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5268.1626


The microscopic particle motions from the crystal to the disordered state of a dusty plasma with micrometer-sized silicon dioxide particle suspensions in a radio-frequency glow discharge system were studied through an optical microimaging system. Small-amplitude random motion around the lattice sites of the crystal state, relative domain motion with varying boundaries, cooperative hopping in the liquid state, and highly disordered motion with increasing radio-frequency power were observed. Chaotic states with different spatial scales under the coherent and stochastic coupling between dust particles and self-organized background plasma fluctuations were also demonstrated.