Complex plasma is a state of soft matter where micrometer-sized particles are immersed in a weakly ionized gas. The particles acquire negative charges of the order of several thousand elementary charges in the plasma, and they can form gaseous, liquid and crystalline states. Direct optical observation of individual particles allows to study their dynamics on the kinetic level even in large many-particle systems. Gravity is the dominant force in ground-based experiments, restricting the research to vertically compressed, inhomogeneous clouds, or two-dimensional systems, and masking dynamical processes mediated by weaker forces. An environment with reduced gravity, such as provided on the International Space Station (ISS), is therefore essential to overcome this limitations. We will present the research goals for the next generation complex plasma facility COMPACT to be operated onboard the ISS. COMPACT is envisaged as an international multi-purpose and multi-user facility that gives access to the full three-dimensional kinetic properties of the particles.
- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Bulletin of the American Physical Society
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- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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