Volume 85, Number 4, February 2009
Article Number 45002
Number of page(s) 6
Section Physics of Gases, Plasmas and Electric Discharges
Published online 04 March 2009
EPL, 85 (2009) 45002
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/85/45002

Mach cones in a three-dimensional complex plasma

K. Jiang1, V. Nosenko1, Y. F. Li1, M. Schwabe1, U. Konopka1, A. V. Ivlev1, V. E. Fortov2, V. I. Molotkov2, A. M. Lipaev2, O. F. Petrov2, M. V. Turin3, H. M. Thomas1 and G. E. Morfill1

1   Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik - D-85741 Garching, Germany, EU
2   Joint Institute for High Temperatures, RAS - Izhorskaya Street, 13/19, Moscow, 125412 Russia
3   RSC “Energia” Korolev - 141070 Moscow Region, Russia

received 19 August 2008; accepted in final form 2 February 2009; published February 2009
published online 4 March 2009

A three-dimensional hydrodynamic model has been applied to study the Mach cones in a three-dimensional complex plasma. Numerical results for the velocity distribution of dust particles showed the presence of compressional-wave Mach cones. The compressional Mach cones were excited when subjected to supersonic excitations. It was found that multi-cone structures became a single cone when the discharge pressure was increased. The experiment of Mach cones in a three-dimensional complex plasma under microgravity conditions on board the International Space Station was also reported. A single compressional-wave Mach cone in a three-dimensional complex plasma was observed and could also be obtained from our hydrodynamic model.

52.27.Lw - Dusty or complex plasmas; plasma crystals.
52.35.Fp - Electrostatic waves and oscillations (e.g., ion-acoustic waves).
47.40.-x - Compressible flows; shock waves.

© EPLA 2009