Proton Crystallization in a Dense Hydrogen Plasma



We perform a first-principle analysis of Coulomb crystallization in neutral two-component mass asymmetric plasmas by large-scale path integral Monte Carlo simulations for a dense hydrogen plasma in a broad density range. We observe two large jumps in the relative distance fluctuations of protons that are connected with qualitative changes in the behavior of the proton pair distribution function and are attributed to the formation of a spatially ordered state. A third smaller jump inside the ordered phase indicates a structural transition (© 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)