Transient slowing down relaxation dynamics of the supercooled dusty plasma liquid after quenching

Yen Shuo Su, Chong Wai Io, I. Lin

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The spatiotemporal evolutions of microstructure and motion in the transient relaxation toward the steady supercooled liquid state after quenching a dusty plasma Wigner liquid, formed by charged dust particles suspended in a low pressure discharge, are experimentally investigated through direct optical microscopy. It is found that the quenched liquid slowly evolves to a colder state with more heterogeneities in structure and motion. Hopping particles and defects appear in the form of clusters with multiscale cluster size distributions. Via the structure rearrangement induced by the reduced thermal agitation from the cold thermal bath after quenching, the temporarily stored strain energy can be cascaded through the network to different newly distorted regions and dissipated after transferring to nonlinearly coupled motions with different scales. It leads to the observed self-similar multiscale slowing down relaxation with power law increases of structural order and structural relaxation time, the similar power law decreases of particle motions at different time scales, and the stronger and slower fluctuations with increasing waiting time toward the new steady state.

Original languageEnglish
Article number016405
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 18 Jul 2012


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