What is it about?

The ultracold plasmas, which are produced in the magneto-optical traps since the early 2000s, are the unusual kind of plasmas, where the Coulomb energies can be comparable (rather than much smaller) to the kinetic energies of the particles. Unfortunately, a severe obstacle to their creation is a spontaneous heating of the electrons, e.g., caused by their interaction with the clusterized ions.

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Why is it important?

We performed an extensive numerical simulation of the electron dynamics against the ionic backgrounds with both the enhanced and suppressed clusterization. The results obtained can serve as a guide for experimentalists to design the future experiments on the creation of strongly-coupled (non-ideal) plasmas.


There was a very optimistic expectation in the early 2000s, when the experiments with ultracold plasmas had been just started, that they would easily lead to the values of the Coulomb coupling parameter as large as 10 or even greater. Unfortunately, the values achieved till now are only a few tenths. As follows from the calculations in this article, the coupling parameter may well be increased up to unity; but it remains unclear if it is possible to overcome this limit.

Yurii Dumin
Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Electron temperature relaxation in the clusterized ultracold plasmas, Physics of Plasmas, November 2022, American Institute of Physics,
DOI: 10.1063/5.0093840.
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