Mapping of force field in a capacitively driven rf plasma discharge
In this paper a method is described that allows mapping of the forces acting on dust particles in a GEC reference cell. Monodisperse particles are dropped into the plasma environment and their trajectories are tracked using a high-speed camera system to determine local accelerations and respective forces. Collecting data from a large number of particle drops allows the identification of three-dimensional vector fields for the acting forces. The procedure is described and multiple examples in which the method has been applied are given. These examples include a simple plasma sheath, plasmas perturbed by a horizontal and vertical dipole magnet, an array of multiple magnets mimicking the fields found at a lunar swirl, and the fields inside a glass box used for particle confinement. Further applicability in other plasma environments will be discussed shortly.