Charge fluctuations in the two-dimensional one-component plasma

D. Levesque, J. J. Weis, J. L. Lebowitz

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30 Scopus citations


We study, via computer simulations, the fluctuations in the net electric charge in a two-dimensional, one component plasma (OCP) with uniform background charge density -ep in a region Λ inside a much larger overall neutral system. Setting e = 1, this is the same as the fluctuations in NΛ, the number of mobile particles of charge e. As expected, the distribution of NΛ has, for large Λ, a Gaussian form with a variance which grows only as κ̂ |∂Λ|, where |∂Λ| is the length of the perimeter of Λ. The properties of this system depend only on the coupling parameter Γ = kT, which is the same as the reciprocal temperature in our units. Our simulations show that when the coupling parameter Γ increases, κ̂(Γ) decreases to an asymptotic value κ̂(∞) ∼ κ̂(2)/2 which is equal (or very close) to that obtained for the corresponding variance of particles on a rigid triangular lattice. Thus, for large Γ, the characteristic length ξL, = 2κ̂/p associated with charge fluctuations behaves very differently from that of the Debye length, ξD ∼ 1/√Γ which it approaches as Γ→0. The pair correlation function of the OCP is also studied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-222
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Statistical Physics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics


  • Charge fluctuations
  • One-component plasma
  • Perimeter law
  • Two dimensions


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