Keywords

ion, ion coupling, ultracold plasma, electron screening

Abstract

We show that strong coupling between ions in an ultracold neutral plasma is limited by electron screening. While electron screening reduces the quasiequilibrium ion temperature, it also reduces the ion-ion electrical potential energy. The net result is that the ratio of nearest-neighbor potential energy to kinetic energy in quasiequilibrium is constant and limited to approximately 1 unless the electrons are heated by some external source. We support these conclusions by reporting measurements of the ion velocity distribution in an ultracold neutral calcium plasma. These results match previously reported simulations of Yukawa systems. Theoretical considerations are used to determine the screened nearest-neighbor potential energy in the plasma.

Original Publication Citation

M. Lyon, S. D. Bergeson, and M. S. Murillo. Limit of strong ion coupling due to electron shielding. Phys. Rev. E 87 (3), 033101 (2013).

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2013

Publisher

American Physical Society

Language

English

College

Physical and Mathematical Sciences

Department

Physics and Astronomy

Included in

Physics Commons

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