Drag on an ellipsoid particle in free-molecular plasma flow

Ming Li, Yunming Chen, D. B. Graves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Based on the analysis of molecular gas dynamics, the drag and moment acting on an ellipsoid particle of revolution X2/a2 + Y2/a2 + Z2/c2 = 1, as an example of nonspherical particles, are studied under the condition of free-molecular plasma flow with thin plasma sheaths. A nonzero moment which causes nonspherical particle self-oscillation and self-rotation around its own axis in the plasma flow - similar to the pitching moment in aerodynamics - is discovered for the first time. When the ratio of axis length c/a is unity, the moment is zero and the drag formula are reduced to the well-known results of spherical particles. The effects of the particle-plasma relative velocity, the plasma temperature, and the particle materials on the drag and moment are also investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-37
Number of pages17
JournalPlasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


  • Drag
  • Ellipsoid particles
  • Rarefied plasma flow
  • Self-oscillating or self-rotating


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