Published online by Cambridge University Press: 29 September 2016
The thermal motion of a dust particle levitated in a plasma chamber is similar to that described by Brownian motion in many ways. The primary difference between a dust particle in a plasma system and a free Brownian particle is that in addition to the random collisions between the dust particle and the neutral gas atoms, there are electric field fluctuations, dust charge fluctuations, and correlated motions from the unwanted continuous signals originating within the plasma system itself. This last contribution does not include random motion and is therefore separable from the random motion in a ‘normal’ temperature measurement. In this paper, we discuss how to separate random and coherent motions of a dust particle confined in a glass box in a Gaseous Electronic Conference (GEC) radio-frequency (RF) reference cell employing experimentally determined dust particle fluctuation data analysed using the mean square displacement technique.
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