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Smoky Plasma

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2 Author(s)
Robertson, S. ; Dept. of Phys., Colorado Univ., Boulder, CO ; Sternovsky, Z.

The mesosphere is a naturally occurring complex plasma with nanometer-sized smoke particles from the ablation of meteors that remain aloft as a consequence of their low rate of sedimentation. Methods are discussed for creating and diagnosing a relatively uniform smoky plasma in the laboratory for the purpose of investigating mesospheric physics. Metallic particles, a few nanometers in radius, are created by evaporation of metal into an inert carrier gas. The particles are transported by gas flow into a double plasma device, where they are charged by the plasma and confined by the plasma potential. Physics issues for the mesosphere that may be investigated include the origins of positively charged smoke particles and of fluctuating electric fields that have been observed by rocket-borne probes

Published in:

Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:35 ,  Issue: 2 )