A A 405
Development of introductory electromagnetic theory including Lorentz force and Maxwell's equations. Plasma description. Single particle motions and drifts in magnetic and electric fields. Derivation of plasma fluid model. Introduction to plasma waves. Applications to electric propulsion, magnetic confinement, and plasmas in space and Earth's outer atmosphere. Prerequisite: PHYS 123; MATH 324. Offered: A.
This course provides an introduction to plasma science. Plasma science is a growing field of scientific research and engineering in the Aerospace field. Some important current areas of research are electric propulsion, controlled fusion, plasma material deposition, and plasma processing. The course introduces and applies concepts in plasma physics which cover various phenomena occurring in fusion plasmas and plasmas in the outer regions of Earth's atmosphere. Electric thrusters and plasma propulsion are primary applications covered in the course.
Student learning goals
1. Students will be able to calculate the electric and magnetic fields for a given electrode and current geometry.
2. Students will be able to predict charged particle motion in the presence of electric and magnetic fields.
3. Students will be able to apply the single fluid magnetohydrodynamic plasma model to solve plasma physics problems.
4. Students will be able to design mission specific electric plasma thrusters.
5. Students will be able to explain the basic principles of magnetic confinement fusion.
General method of instruction
lecture, individual and group homework, in-class demonstrations
Although the course will be self-contained regarding plasma science, students are expected to have some background in basic engineering physics and math.
Class assignments and grading
problem sets and project proposal
Homework 30% Midterm 35% Final 35%