Plasma, Gases

JETP Letters

, Volume 84, Issue 10, pp 542-546

First online:

Crystallization waves in a dusty plasma

  • B. A. KlumovAffiliated withMax-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik
  • , M. Rubin-ZuzicAffiliated withMax-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik
  • , G. E. MorfillAffiliated withMax-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik

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Abstract

Crystallization waves in the dusty component of a complex plasma, which were recently observed experimentally, have been investigated numerically. The evolution of the system of charged microparticles whose interaction between each other is described by a screened Coulomb potential (Yukawa potential) has been numerically simulated using the molecular dynamics method. It has been shown that the process of the formation and propagation of a crystallization wave in such a system is fundamentally three-dimensional. Analysis of the local structure of dust particles behind the crystallization wave front indicates the coexistence of different types of the crystal lattice including the metastable phase, i.e., a nonequilibrium phase transition.

PACS numbers

67.57.Lm 76.60.-k