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Keywords:

  • Wake field;
  • grain charging;
  • experiment;
  • complex plasma

Abstract

The formation of wake fields downstream of an objects in flowing plasmas has strong implications on structure, stability and dynamics of complex plasmas. This paper aims at putting recent experimental investigations and different theoretical approaches on charging of dust grains, stability of dust grain arrangements and the dynamical properties of complex plasmas into perspective. Further, the combination of wake fields and grain confinement is discussed, which is the generic situation in complex plasmas. It is shown that in spherical traps the resulting competition of trap geometry and vertical alignment leads to a sophisticated mixture of nested shell and string order (© 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)