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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Uri Shumlak
A A 558
Seattle Campus

Plasma Theory

Equilibrium, stability, and confinement. Classical transport, collisionless and resistive skin depths. Ideal MHD equations formally derived and properties of plasmas in the ideal limit are studied. Straight and toroidal equilibrium. Linear stability analysis with examples. Taylor minimum energy principle. Prerequisite: either A A 405, A A 556, A A 557, ESS 576, or GPHYS 537. Offered: Sp, even years.

Class description

1. Students will understand the derivation of plasma models [kinetic, two-fluid, and magnetohydrodynamic (MHD)]. 2. Students will know the limiting approximations, the physical significance, and the regions of validity for each model. 3. Students will become sufficiently familiar with the vector & tensor mathematics to apply the methods to reduce or extend the plasma models. 4. Students will be able to apply the two-fluid plasma model to derive plasma wave dispersion relations. 5. Students will be able to apply the MHD plasma model to compute magnetically confined equilibria in 1-D and 2-D and to classify the various equilibria. 6. Students will be able to apply the MHD plasma model to determine stability of magnetically confined equilibria and understand the driving source of instabilities.

Student learning goals

Students will understand the derivation of plasma models [kinetic, two-fluid, and magnetohydrodynamic (MHD)].

Students will know the limiting approximations, the physical significance, and the regions of validity for each model.

Students will become sufficiently familiar with the vector & tensor mathematics to apply the methods to reduce or extend the plasma models.

Students will be able to apply the two-fluid plasma model to derive plasma wave dispersion relations.

Students will be able to apply the MHD plasma model to compute magnetically confined equilibria in 1-D and 2-D and to classify the various equilibria.

Students will be able to apply the MHD plasma model to determine stability of magnetically confined equilibria and understand the driving source of instabilities.

General method of instruction

Lecture & Class Discussion

Recommended preparation

AA405 - Introduction to Plasma Physics, PHYS543 - Electromagnetic Theory

Class assignments and grading

Derivations, Analytical and Computer Solutions to Problems

Homework 30% Midterm Exam 30% Final Exam 40%


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
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Last Update by Uri Shumlak
Date: 03/30/2014