The Idaho Dusty Plasma Laboratory has recently begun operation. Work to dat
e has used an argon dc glow plasma in which dust particles are levitated. L
angmuir probe measurements indicate plasma densities in the range 10(14)-10
(15) m(-3) and electron temperatures in the range 1-5 eV depending on plasm
a conditions and spatial location. To date monodispersive particles with a
diameter range of 20-30 mum have been used. The observed dust clouds have d
ust densities in the range 10(10)-10(12) m(-3). Dust particle average kinet
ic energies are typically near the electron temperature in magnitude. The b
ulk of the dust cloud is in a crystalline solid configuration. The motion o
f the dust can best be characterized as collective normal mode activity. Sp
ectra of the particle motion reveal the distinction between collective and
random motion. The dust charge has been measured to be on order of -10(4)e.
The variations of particle energy and charge within the dust cloud have be
en measured. (C) 2001 American Institute of Physics.