Strongly Coupled Plasmas under Microgravity

Int. J. Microgravity Sci. Appl. 2011_s027
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Fine particle (dusty) plasmas provide us with a unique system in the sense that constituent particles are strongly coupled enough to manifest collective properties and, at the same time, their orbits are separately observed. We are thus able to investigate long-ranged statistical phenomena at the kinetic level. The only difficulty is the large effect of the gravity acting on fine but still macroscopic particles. Therefore the microgravity is the ideal environment of experiments for these purposes. Among many interesting phenomena, we have been especially working to observe peculiar behavior of thermodynamic quantities of strongly coupled plasmas as modeled by one-component plasma (OCP). This has been long known to be common in many systems including the Yukwa system but the possibility to observe in fine particle plasmas has been pointed out only recently by one of the authors (H. T.). After brief general introduction of fine particle plasmas, the critical point and related phenomena are described in relation to experiments under microgravity.
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