Interactions of charged dust particles in clouds of charges
Two charged dust particles inside a cloud of charges are considered as Debye atoms forming a Debye molecule. Cassini coordinates are used for the numerical solution of the Poisson-Boltzmann equation for the charged cloud. The electric force acting on a dust particle by the other dust particle was determined by integrating the electrostatic pressure on the surface of the dust particle. It is shown that attractive forces appear when the following two conditions are satisfied. First, the average distance between dust particles should be approximately equal to two Debye radii. Second, attraction takes place when similar charges are concentrated predominantly on the dust particles. If the particles carry a small fraction of total charge of the same polarity, repulsion between the particles takes place at all distances. We apply our results to the experiments with thermoemission plasma and to the experiments with nuclear-pumped plasma.
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