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Phys Rev Lett. 2004 Jun 25;92(25 Pt 1):253003. Epub 2004 Jun 25.

Electron temperature of ultracold plasmas.

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Atomic Physics Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA.


We study the evolution of ultracold plasmas by measuring the electron temperature. Shortly after plasma formation, competition between heating and cooling mechanisms drives the electron temperature to a value within a narrow range regardless of the initial energy imparted to the electrons. In agreement with theory predictions, plasmas exhibit values of the Coulomb coupling parameter Gamma less than 1.

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