This page contains the details of the collaborative NSF Grant entitled "Onset of Turbulence in Dusty Plasma Liquids."
Abstract: This project will investigate the fundamental physical mechanisms guiding onset of turbulence in charged media, a plasma composed of electrons, ions, and dust particles, by numerically modeling the motion of dust particles in the plasma environment. Understanding the transition from laminar to turbulent flow in charged media is one of the very important scientific challenges as it affects complex processes such as nuclear fusion, dispersion of chemicals in the atmosphere, formation of atmospheric storms, and aircraft stability. For example, flight turbulence is common, yet the origin of such phenomenon can be affected by a variety of factors, including wind flows, pressure or temperature gradients, and self-induced electricity, including lightning, in dusty atmospheres. In plasma conditions, the dust particles become charged and can form dusty plasma liquids, where various waves and instabilities can be observed. This makes dusty plasmas an ideal model system for the study of the laminar-to-turbulent transition.
The dynamics of dusty plasmas is guided by the dust-dust interaction and the dust interaction with the plasma, both of which can lead to anomalous dust diffusion. In this project, the research team will investigate the connection between anomalous diffusion and the onset of a global instability, such as turbulence. The research team will develop an in-house analysis code, employing novel mathematical techniques from spectral theory and fractional calculus to model anomalous particle diffusion in disordered media with non-local interactions. For a given diffusion behavior, the analysis code will determine the corresponding time-evolved dynamical state of the system based on the evolution of its energy spectrum. To verify this novel technique, the predictions from the spectral analysis will be compared against the results from molecular dynamics simulations as well as experiments employing dusty plasma liquids exhibiting turbulent behavior.
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We will attempt to maintain a complete listing of all products related to this grant on this page. More details regarding any presentations or research articles may be obtained by request.
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The following are additional resources (related to the subject matter of the grant) which may help interested readers better understand the employed approach. This list is by no means complete and simply serves as a starting point for gaining a deeper understanding of the so-called spectral approach.
"Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation."