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Freezing and melting of 3D complex plasma structures under microgravity conditions driven by neutral gas pressure manipulation

By S. A. Khrapak, B. A. Klumov, P. Huber, V. I. Molotkov, A. M. Lipaev, V. N. Naumkin, H. M. Thomas, A. V. Ivlev, G. E. Morfill, O. F. Petrov, V. E. Fortov, Yu. Malentschenko and S. Volkov


Freezing and melting of large three-dimensional complex plasmas under microgravity conditions is investigated. The neutral gas pressure is used as a control parameter to trigger the phase changes: Complex plasma freezes (melts) by decreasing (increasing) the pressure. Evolution of complex plasma structural properties upon pressure variation is studied. Theoretical estimates allow us to identify main factors responsible for the observed behavior.Comment: Phys. Rev. Lett. (in press); 4 pages, 4 figure

Topics: Physics - Plasma Physics, Condensed Matter - Other Condensed Matter, Condensed Matter - Soft Condensed Matter
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.205001
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