22.611J / 6.651J / 8.613J Introduction To Plasma Physics I

Fall 2002

A handle-shaped cloud of plasma erupts from the Sun. (NASA)
A handle-shaped cloud of plasma erupts from the Sun. (Image courtesty of NASA.)

Course Highlights

This course includes problem sets with solutions, sample exams, an extensive list of readings, and links to other useful web resources.

Course Description

Introduces plasma phenomena relevant to energy generation by controlled thermonuclear fusion and to astrophysics. Basic plasma properties and collective behavior. Coulomb collisions and transport processes. Motion of charged particles in magnetic fields; plasma confinement schemes. MHD models; simple equilibrium and stability analysis. Two-fluid hydrodynamic plasma models; wave propagation in a magnetic field.

Introduces kinetic theory; Vlasov plasma model; electron plasma waves and Landau damping; ion-acoustic waves; streaming instabilities. A subject description tailored to fit the background and interests of the attending students distributed shortly before and at the beginning of the subject.
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Prof. Kim Molvig

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session