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Dusty plasma response to a moivng test charge

by Shafiq, Muhammad

Abstract (Summary)
This licentiate thesis reports analytical results for the electrostatic response to a test charge moving through dusty plasma. Two particular cases for a slowly moving test charge, namely, grain size distribution and grain charging dynamics are considered. Analytical results for the delayed shielding of a test charge due to dynamical grain charging in dusty plasma are also reported. In the first case, a dusty plasma in thermal equilibrium and with a distribution of grain sizes is considered. A size distribution is assumed which decreases exponentially with the grain mass for large sizes and gives a simple smooth reduction for small sizes. The electrostatic response to a slowly moving test charge, using a second order approximation is found and the effects of collisions are also investigated. It turns out that for this particular size distribution, there is a remarkably simple result that the resulting effective distribution for the electrostatic response is a kappa (generalized Lorentzian) distribution. In the second case, we present an analytical model for the shielding of a slowly moving test charge in a dusty plasma with dynamical grain charging for cases both with and without the collision effects. The response potential is treated as a power series in test charge velocity. Analytical expressions for the response potential are found up to second order in test charge velocity. The first-order dynamical charging term is shown to be the consequence of the delay in the shielding due to the dynamics of the charging process. It is concluded that the dynamical charging of the grains in a dusty plasma enhances the shielding of a test charge. To clarify the physics, a separate study is made where the charging is approximated by using a time delay. The resulting potential shows the delayed shielding effect explicitly. The terms in the potential that depend on the charging dynamics involve a spatial shift given by the test charge velocity and the charging time. This kind of work has relevance both in space and astrophysical plasmas.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Kungliga Tekniska högskolan

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:NATURAL SCIENCES; Physics; Physics; Dusty Plasmas; Complex Plasmas; Grain size distribution; Grain charging dynamics,; Fysik

ISBN:91-7178-040-8

Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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