Europhys. Lett.
Volume 75, Number 4, August 2006
Page(s) 631 - 637
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 07 July 2006
Europhys. Lett., 75 (4), pp. 631-637 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2006-10146-1

On the connected-charges Thomson problem

A. Slosar1 and R. Podgornik1, 2, 3

1  Department of Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics University of Ljubljana - SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2  University of California at Santa Barbara, Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA
3  Department of Theoretical Physics, J. Stefan Institute - SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

received 6 April 2006; accepted 22 June 2006
published online 7 July 2006

We investigate the modifications brought about by the linear connectivity among charges in the classical Thomson problem. Instead of packing with local hexagonal order interspersed with topological defects, we find charge distributions with helical symmetry wound around the surface of the sphere. This finding should have repercussions in the viral packing and macroion adsorption theories.

82.70.Dd - Colloids.
82.35.Rs - Polyelectrolytes.
82.45.Gj - Electrolytes.

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