Amplitude modulation and surface wave generation in a complex plasma monolayer

S Maity and G Arora, PHYSICAL REVIEW E, 108, 065202 (2023).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.108.065202

The response of a two-dimensional plasma crystal to an externally imposed initial perturbation has been explored using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. A two-dimensional (2D) monolayer of micron-sized charged particles (dust) is formed in the plasma environment under certain conditions. The particles interacting via Yukawa pair potential are confined in the vertical (z) direction by an external parabolic confinement potential, which mimics the combined effect of gravity and the sheath electric field typically present in laboratory dusty plasma experiments. An external perturbation is introduced in the medium by displacing a small central region of particles in the vertical direction. The displaced particles start to oscillate in the vertical direction, and their dynamics get modulated through a parametric decay process generating beats. It has also been shown that the same motion is excited in the dynamics of unperturbed particles. A simple theoretical model is provided to understand the origin of the beat motions of particles. Additionally, in our simulations, concentric circular wavefronts propagating radially outward are observed on the surface of the monolayer. The physical mechanism and parametric dependence of the observed phenomena are discussed in detail. This research sheds light on the medium's ability to exhibit macroscopic softness, a pivotal characteristic of soft matter, while sustaining surface wave modes. Our findings are also relevant to other strongly coupled systems, such as colloids and classical one-component plasmas.

Return to Publications page