2018 Fall Physics Colloquium Series: Lorin Swint Matthews, Ph.D.

DateSeptember 12, 2018
Time4:00 - 5:00 pm
LocationBaylor Sciences Building, Room E.125

2018 Fall Physics Colloquium Series

Lorin Swint Matthews, Ph.D.

Department of Physics
Baylor University

Ion Wakes: Modeling Dust Plasma Interactions

The interaction of an object within a streaming fluid is a phenomenon widely encountered in physics, spanning a range of length scales, from the familiar meter- to cm-sized wakes observed behind rocks in flowing streams (Fig. 1a), the kilometers long wakes observed in cloud patterns as air flows past ocean islands (Fig. 1b), to the wakes produced in the bow shock of a speeding neutron star covering distances on the order of a parsecs (Fig. 1c). Plasma, a gas consisting of electrons, ions,and neutral molecules, can also be considered as a fluid. When plasma is moving with respect to an immersed object (such as a micron-sized dust grain), the object becomes charged and the trajectories of the ions in the plasma are altered as they flow past the charged body. Depending on flow velocity and the magnitude of the perturbing potential, ions can be focused into a region downstream of the object, creating an ion wakefield (Fig. 1d). Here we report results of coupled numerical models of the plasma discharge, ion wakefield and particle interactions in ground-based lab experiments and in microgravity experiments onboard the ISS.

For more information, please contact: Dr. Anzhong Wang 254-710-2276
PublisherDepartment of Physics
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