Volume 96, Number 5, December 2011
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Physics of Gases, Plasmas and Electric Discharges|
|Published online||07 November 2011|
Direct measurement of the speed of sound in a complex plasma under microgravity conditions
Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics - Garching, Germany
2 Joint Institute for High Temperatures - Moscow, Russia
3 Yu. Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center - Star City, Russia
4 International Space Station (a)
Accepted: 27 October 2011
We present a direct measurement of the speed of sound in a three-dimensional complex plasma —a room-temperature plasma that contains micrometer-sized particles as fourth component. In order to obtain an undisturbed system, the setup was placed under microgravity conditions on board the International Space Station. The speed of sound was measured with the help of Mach cones excited by a supersonic probe particle moving through the extended particle cloud at Mach numbers M≲3. We use the Mach cone relation to infer the particle charge and compare with that predicted by standard theories. In addition, we compare our results with a numerical simulation. In both experiment and simulation, we observe a double Mach cone structure.
PACS: 52.27.Lw – Dusty or complex plasmas; plasma crystals / 52.35.Dm – Sound waves
© EPLA, 2011
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.