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Phys Rev Lett. 2013 Nov 1;111(18):188301. Epub 2013 Oct 29.

Geometrical optics of dense aerosols: forming dense plasma slabs.

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Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA.


Assembling a freestanding, sharp-edged slab of homogeneous material that is much denser than gas, but much more rarefied than a solid, is an outstanding technological challenge. The solution may lie in focusing a dense aerosol to assume this geometry. However, whereas the geometrical optics of dilute aerosols is a well-developed field, the dense aerosol limit is mostly unexplored. Yet controlling the geometrical optics of dense aerosols is necessary in preparing such a material slab. Focusing dense aerosols is shown here to be possible, but the finite particle density reduces the effective Stokes number of the flow, a critical result for controlled focusing.

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