Various phenomena occurring in outer regions of Earth's atmosphere, ionosphere, magnetosphere, and Van Allen radiation belts. Laboratory applications include plasma thrusters and fusion. Concepts include charged particles in magnetic fields, drift motion, plasma, magnetohydrodynamic waves. Includes advanced, research-oriented problems. Prerequisite: PHYS 321 or equivalent.
Beginning plasma physics. Single particle motion in electric and magnetic fields. Collective plasma phenomena/'fluid theory' Introduction to plasma waves
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Text (Parks (2004) Physics of Space Plasmas, Westview/Perseus Books Group) Chapters 1 - 5 plus parts of 6 - 9.
Physics 321 and 322 (upper division E&M)
Class assignments and grading
homework weekly; lots of problem sets.
Homework (7 problem sets) - 50% of grade Midterm - 20% Final - 30% Extra credit: 10 page paper - up to 15%