Intergrain forces in low-Mach-number plasma wakes
Author(s)Hutchinson, Ian H.
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Large-scale particle-in-cell calculations of the plasma wake interactions of two negatively charged grains smaller than the Debye length are carried out using the coptic code over a wide range of subsonic plasma flow velocities. In plasmas with the temperature ratio T[subscript e]/T[subscript i]=100, it is found that a single grain's oscillatory wake disappears for flow Mach numbers M less than approximately 0.3, which is the parameter regime where Landau damping is expected to be strong. Neutral collisions suppress potential oscillations above M=0.3, but not the trailing attractive potential peak caused by ion focusing. The transverse (grain-aligning) force on a downstream particle in the wake of another is obtained rigorously from the code in three-dimensional simulations. It shows general agreement with the force that would be deduced from the single-grain wake potential gradient. Except for relatively large grains in the nonlinear collisional regime, the grain-aligning force is very small for slow flow.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering
Physical Review E
American Physical Society
Hutchinson, I. “Intergrain Forces in low-Mach-number Plasma Wakes.” Physical Review E 85.6 (2012). ©2012 American Physical Society
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