The development of physical ideas concerning the interaction of plasma flows and electrostatic fields in dusty plasmas
Prokhorov General Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Vavilova 38, Moscow, 119942, Russian Federation
The concept of the interaction of an electrostatic field and plasma flows in а dusty plasma is reviewed. This approach helps to describe many aspects of dusty plasma physics. Of basic importance in this context are processes that plasma flows introduce into interactions between dust particles. Fluctuations in plasma flows, together with those in electrostatic fields, considerably modify these interactions, with the result that like-charged particles that are far apart start attracting one another, possibly leading to their pairing. Knowledge about the attraction between distant particles is traced from the early work of 1963 through modification and improvement to its present level, when it has become possible to qualitatively estimate the parameters of the dusty plasma — dust crystal transition, and to obtain the values for the coupling constant, dust particle separations, and the transition temperature consistent with observations. The self-energy of dust particles, exceeding both their kinetic energy and interaction energy, is discussed in terms of the role of its variations. Generation mechanisms and the role of regular plasma flows are examined. Self-excitation of regular and fluctuating plasma flows gives rise to structures such as dust voids, dust vortices, dust clumps, and helical dust structures. Self-organizing structures are frequently seen both in laboratory and natural conditions. Prospects for further research are addressed and problems yet to be solved reviewed.