PHYX 6330—Plasma Physics I



Title: Plasma Physics I

Professor: Eric Held

Time: 9:30 - 10:20 M W F

Semester: Fall 2008


Course Objective

1. Develop an understanding of the plasma state including

single particle motion, waves, the plasma kinetic equation

and its moments, magnetohydrodynamics, fluid and kinetic instabilities,

quasilinear diffusion and Coulomb collisions.




# 1. Fundamental plasma parameters and single particle motion Debye shielding, plasma frequency and the plasma parameter

# single particle drifts, adiabatic invariants, and the Hamiltonian method


2. Waves in a cold plasma

# dispersion relations and the cold plasma dielectric

# cutoffs, resonances and the CMA diagram


3. Kinetic and fluid descriptions

# Boltzmann equation

# moments of the Boltzmann equation

# finite-T effects on waves


4. Magnetohydrodynamics

# derivation and validity

# equilibrium and stability


5. Kinetic description of waves in hot plasma

# the Vlasov formulation

# electrostatic and electromagnetic waves

# linear and nonlinear Landau damping


6. Quasilinear theory

# assumptions of QL theory

# QL diffusion


7. Coulomb collisions

# Fokker-Planck operator

# moment approach to the linearized Coulomb collision operator


Text:Intoduction to Plasma Physics, Donald A. Gurnett and Amitava Bhattacharjee


Additional References:

# The Framework of Plasma Physics, Richard D. Hazeltine and Francois L. Waelbroeck

# The Physics of Fully Ionized Gases, Lyman Spitzer, Jr.

# Physics of High Temperature Plasmas, G. Schmidt

# Introduction to Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, F. F. Chen



Homework (4) 40%

Midterm (1) 30%

Final (1) 30%