Thu, Nov 08 - Thu, Nov 0811:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Taylor Hall 111308 E University St.
We consider a small number n of charged particles confined in a two-dimensional biharmonic potential well. The particles interact through a screened Coulomb (i.e., Debye or Yukawa) force. In the strong-coupling regime, particle arrangements are controlled by three parameters: n, the well anisotropy, and the screening length. When the well is highly anisotropic, the arrangement is a one-dimensional straight line. As the anisotropy is reduced, or n is increased, the arrangement becomes two-dimensional via a zigzag instability. We show that the change between one and two-dimensional arrangements looks like a continuous phase transition. Additional transitions between arrangement phases, both continuous and discontinuous, are predicted. Dusty plasma experiments verify the existence of arrangement phases and give insight into the transition dynamics.
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Taylor Hall308 E. University StreetWooster, OH 44691Phone: 330-263-2478Fax: 330-263-2516
1189 Beall Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44691. (330) 263-2000
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