Some thoughts on energy relaxation in an ultracold neutral plasma -- expanding and trapped dual-species plasmas

Speaker: 
Scott Bergeson, Brigham Young University
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2017-07-27 16:30 - 17:30
Location: 
Chem D-213
Local Contact: 
Ed Grant
Intended Audience: 
Graduate

The statistical mechanics of strongly coupled plasmas are not well understood. Descriptions of diffusion, viscosity, and relaxation are more complicated compared to what happens in neutral atomic gases because the Coulomb interaction is long-range. Instead of being reduced to sequential local events, momentum transfer in plasmas is typically comprised of millions of more or less simultaneous long-range "collisions." Standard kinetic theories try to capture this physics using a single term called the Coulomb logarithm, which modifies essentially every thermodynamic process. Recent work probing the Coulomb logarithm in a Paul trap has been reported, but it differs from standard expressions by a few orders of magnitude in regimes
where it shouldn't. In this talk I will describe our energy relaxation work in strongly-coupled neutral plasmas, dissect the previously mentioned measurement, and discuss a few proposals for new experiments probing collision physics in non-neutral plasmas.

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