Shielding of absorbing objects in collisionless flowing plasma

Tyshetskiy, Yu.; Vladimirov, S. V.
October 2010
Physics of Plasmas;Oct2010, Vol. 17 Issue 10, p103701
Academic Journal
The electrostatic shielding of a charged absorbing object (dust grain) in a flowing collisionless plasma is investigated by using the linearized kinetic equation for plasma ions with a point-sink term accounting for ion absorption on the object. The effect of absorption on the attractive part of the grain potential distribution in plasma is investigated. For subthermal ion flows, the attractive part of the grain potential in the direction perpendicular to the ion flow can be significantly reduced or completely destroyed, depending on the absorption rate. For superthermal ion flows, however, the effect of absorption on the grain attraction in the direction perpendicular to the ion flow is shown to be exponentially weak. It is thus argued that, in the limit of superthermal ion flows, the effect of ion absorption by the grain on the grain's shielding potential can be safely ignored for typical grain sizes relevant to complex plasmas.


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