Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years (1.8.2018-31.7.2020), which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


After the course the students should have a basic understanding of plasma phenomenology, so that they can explain, e.g., how the radio waves propagate in the earth's atmosphere, and how a fusion plasma with a temperature of 100 million degrees can be controlled in laboratory conditions.

Credits: 5

Schedule: 07.09.2020 - 09.12.2020

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Taina Kurki-Suonio

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Taina Kurki-Suonio

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Plasma is the fourth and most common state of matter in our cosmos. Our direct contacts with plasma are still -- fortunately -- few and far apart. However, since e.g., modern tele communication is based on basic properties of plasmas, and fusion energy could help slow down the climate change, learning some basics of this peculiar state of matter is not only interesting but also useful.
    In this course the student will be introduced to plasma, a gas consisting of electrically charged particles, which makes its properties dramatically different from those of the more familiar states of matter: the free charges interact via Coulomb force that has, in principle, infinite range. This allows plasma to display a host of interesting collective phenomena, the most useful and intriguing of which  will be introduced in this course. The plasma will be treated predominantly with the magnetohydrodynamic description, the foundations of which will be outlined.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Contact teaching: 48 h

    Independent work (exercises, mini-assignments): 50 h

    Exam: 4 h


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    lecture notes and web material

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Basic knowledge (at the level of a 3rd year student) in statistical physics and electromagnetism.



Registration and further information