Bremen 2017 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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P: Fachverband Plasmaphysik

P 7: Complex and Dusty Plasmas

P 7.2: Poster

Montag, 13. März 2017, 16:30–18:30, HS Foyer

Milli-gravity experiments with an improved PK-4 setup — •Michael Kretschmer, Markus Thoma, Christopher Dietz, and Benjamin Steinmüller — Justus-Liebig-Universität, Giessen, D

Plasmakristall 4 (PK-4) is a complex plasma laboratory installed onboard the International Space Station ISS since 2014. It is mainly used for studying complex plasmas in the fluid state by creating a dc discharge inside a glass tube with a low-pressure gas where microparticles are injected in. An engineering model of PK-4 resides at the university of Giessen (PK-4 GI). Unless the ISS unit, this setup can easily be altered and improved. It has been adapted for a parabolic flight campaign (PFC) with the A310 ZERO-G aircraft.

Additionally, PK-4 GI has been equipped with a new camera that allows the recording of the particles’ motion with much higher resolution compared to the original camera. During the PFC with 124 parabolas, providing a g level of ±50 m-g, two main objectives were planned:

- Investigation of the phase transition of an electro-rheological (ER) plasma. In general, an ER liquid changes its mechanical properties, e.g. viscosity, when a voltage is applied. With PK-4 GI we can study this on the single-particle level.

- Demixing of two liquid phases. By injecting a mixture of particles with two different sizes into the plasma we can observe how the particles demix, from the individual to the collective particle scale.

- Wave phenomena are widely observed in complex plasmas. During the experiments described above we keep an eye also on this topic.

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