When dust particles are immersed in streaming plasmas, the trajectories of the plasma ions are altered as they flow past the charged grains. Depending on the flow velocity and the magnitude of the charge on the dust grains, ions can be focused into a region downstream of the object, creating a wakefield. The ion wake field has long been shown to cause non-reciprocal interaction between upstream and downstream particles, which makes such systems ideal for the study of non-equilibrium phenomena. In this project, we examine the collective phenomena driving the structure and the symmetry, and dynamical properties of the strongly coupled dust particle systems within directed ion flow. The manner in which the ion flow affects the structure of the ion wakefield, the particle charge, and the stability of the dust structures formed within the plasma are determined through numerical simulations informed by experimental measurements.
Faculty & Staff: Lorin Matthews, Truell Hyde, Eva Kostadinova