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Colloquium : fundamentals of dust-plasma interactions

Shukla, Padma and Eliasson, Bengt (2009) Colloquium : fundamentals of dust-plasma interactions. Reviews of Modern Physics, 81 (1). pp. 25-44. ISSN 0034-6861

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Abstract

Dusty plasmas are ubiquitous in low-temperature laboratory discharges as well as in the near-earth environment, planetary rings, and interstellar spaces. In this paper, updated knowledge of fundamentals of collective dust-plasma interactions and several novel phenomena are presented that have been observed in laboratories and in space dusty plasmas. Mechanisms that are responsible for the charging of dust grains are discussed, and the fact that the dust charge perturbation is a new dynamical variable in a dusty plasma. The underlying physics of different forces that act on a charged dust grain is reviewed. In dusty plasmas, there are new attractive forces (e.g., due to wakefield and ion focusing effects and dipole-dipole interactions between unevenly charged dust rods). Furthermore, in the presence of an ensemble of charged dust grains, there are collective dust-plasma interactions featuring new waves (e.g., the dust acoustic wave, the dust ion-acoustic wave, the dust lattice wave, etc.), new instabilities, and coherent nonlinear structures (dust acoustic and dust ion-acoustic shocks, dust voids, and dust vortices), which are also discussed. Theoretical models for numerous collective dust-plasma interactions are compared with existing observations from laboratories and space environments.