Dust Cloud Convections in Inhomogeneously Heated Plasmas in Microgravity
Convection is a phenomenon that often occurs in the presence of temperature gradients. In microgravity, free convection can not occur due to the lack of buoyancy. However, during parabolic flights we observed convections of microparticles in a gas discharge within the cylindrical plasma chamber of the setup PK-4. The microparticles and the plasma ... were exposed to a thermal gradient. There, the cloud convections and dust waves were observed. Analysis by tracking the microparticles’ trajectories showed that the vortices were induced by thermal creep, a gas flow that commonly occurs in gases with low pressures at inhomogeneously heated solid interfaces. This effect has driven a gas convection which in turn caused the convection of the microparticle cloud.
Original publication in
Microgravity science and technology 35 (2023), 13