New mechanism of dust growth and gravitation-like instabilities in astrophysical plasmas

Bingham, R. and Tsytovich, V. N. (2001) New mechanism of dust growth and gravitation-like instabilities in astrophysical plasmas. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 376 (3). L43-L47. ISSN 0004-6361

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Abstract

Dust growth by agglomeration due to a new mechanism of dust attraction is shown to compete in space plasmas with the standard accretion mechanism by neutral particles. We demonstrate that dust growth by accretion of neutrals and plasma particles is aided by a pressure force due to a shadowing effect first proposed (Bingham & Tsytovich 2001) to explain rapid growth of dust in laboratory discharges. Consequences of this new force promoting dust growth by agglomeration in astrophysics are discussed including the role of a new gravitational-like instability which produces clumping enhancing the rate of gravitational collapse.