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Title: A gedankenexperiment for anomalous diffusion in a charge-fluctuating dusty plasma

Brownian motion with Gaussian-distributed step-sizes is the prototype of diffusive processes with the typical scaling of the mean-square displacement linear with time. There are, however, processes scaling slower or faster in time due to differently (e.g., power-law) distributed step-sizes, commonly referred to as sub- and superdiffusion, respectively. We address the question whether there is actually a physical reason for a discrimination between normal and anomalous diffusion or whether such processes can be regarded as a special case of normal diffusion with a complicated space- and time-dependent diffusion coefficient. In order to get to the bottom of this question, we construct a numerical gedankenexperiment, which is designed to be as simple as possible and consists of dust particles embedded as test particles into a homogeneous magnetic field that randomly changes their charge. The only parameter governing the system is the ratio of the time-scales for gyration and for recharging. By performing full-orbit simulations of such particles, we are for the first time able to (i) describe a system exhibiting sub-, normal, or superdiffusion as an asymptotic behavior, i.e., not merely as an intermediate state during the evolution of the system. We (ii) observe superdiffusion for low values of the controlling parameter,more » normal diffusion over a wide plateau of intermediate values, and subdiffusion for high values, i.e., we found (iii) a simple system with one single and illustrative parameter controlling whether the system exhibits super-, normal, or subdiffusion. The crucial point is (iv) a competition between ballistic (particles uncharged, extreme superdiffusion) and confined (charged, extreme subdiffusion) motions. Our system is homogeneous in space and time, so that its (v) behavior cannot be described by normal diffusion with a special diffusion coefficient, and the competition is (vi) fundamentally different from a Gaussian random walk and may be regarded as one possible prototype of anomalous diffusion. We discuss briefly possible implications to space and astrophysical dusty plasma. In particular, we show that in a plasma with polydisperse dust particles, a superposition of the three regimes of the anomalous diffusion can simultaneously come into play.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Institut für Experimentelle und Angewandte Physik, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, 24118 Kiel (Germany)
  2. Department of Physics, Southern Federal University, Rostov on Don 344090 (Russian Federation)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22252073
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; ASTROPHYSICS; BROWNIAN MOVEMENT; DIFFUSION; DUSTS; MAGNETIC FIELDS; PLASMA; RANDOMNESS; TIME DEPENDENCE