Interplanetary medium - A dusty plasma

  • Mann I
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The average mass of dust per volume in space equals that of the solar wind so that the interplanetary medium should provide an obvious region to study dust plasma interactions. While dust collective behavior is typically not observed in the interplanetary medium, the dust component rather consists of isolated grains screened by and interacting with the plasma. Space measurements have revealed several phenomena possibly resulting from dust plasma interactions, but most of the dust plasma interactions are at present not quantified. Examples are the production of neutrals and pick-up ions from the dust, dust impact generated field variations at spacecraft and magnetic field variations possibly caused by solar wind interacting with dust trails. Since dust particles carry a surface charge, they are exposed to the Lorentz force in the interplanetary magnetic field and for grains of sub-micrometer sizes acceleration can be substantial. © 2007 COSPAR.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cosmic dust
  • Dusty plasma
  • Interplanetary medium
  • Solar wind

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  • Ingrid Mann

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