Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, 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.


  • discuss the pros and cons of the different confinement options
  • derive the Lawson criterion for both magnetically and inertially confined fusion plasmas, and develop simple numerical tools to calculate the Lawson diagram
  • describe the basis of tokamaks and stellarators, their magnetic field configurations and give a status on the present research facilities
  • discuss different heating options of fusion plasmas, and make a judgment on their efficiency in different plasma scenarios
  • list issues of plasma-wall interaction in fusion devices
  • describe the tritium cycle in fusion devices.

Credits: 5

Schedule: 11.01.2021 - 07.04.2021

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Mathias Groth, Timo Kiviniemi

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Mathias Groth, Timo Kiviniemi

Contact information for the course (valid 07.12.2020-21.12.2112):

Lectures: Mathias Groth and Timo Kiviniemi

Exercise sessions: Henri Kumpulainen


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:

    This course gives an introduction to plasma physics and fusion, and its concepts toward development of fusion power plants. We will be discussing the scientific requirements of fusion, its challenges in achieving burning fusion plasmas, and its technological constraints. The course is divided into weekly lectures and exercising classes, with the emphasis on discussing the material during the exercise classes. The course will conclude with an exam; depending on the size of the class there will be an oral or written exam. After attending the course you should be able todefine the requirements of achieving a burning fusion plasma, including possible fuel options and the critical plasma parameters.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Following topics are covered:

    • Energy needs
    • Fusion principles
    • Fusion concepts: 1) Tokamaks, 2) Stellarators, 3) Inertial confinement fusion
    • ITER
    • Plasma heating
    • Plasma diagnostics.
    • Scrape-off layer and plasma-wall interaction.
    • Safety and Environment - Tritium cycle

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    20% for lecture attendance, 50% for providing the solutions to exercises, and 30% for the (final) exams. The final exam can be either oral or written exam depending on the number of students attending the course.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Note: Since the course is arranged remotely the assessment method for year 2021 is:

  • 75% for attending the exercise classes and getting the exercises done 
  • 25% for the (final) exam
  • Active participation in exercise classes is desired. Typically, we ask the student to re-state the questions given in the exercises, elaborate on the physics question at hand, and lay out a or several solutions. The actual mathematical result is secondary to understanding the concept and offering a or several solutions.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    24 + 24 (2 + 2)

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Lectures 24 h
    Exercises 24 h

    Independent work 80 h
    Examination 4 h

    Total of 133 hours (5 ECTS)


Study Material
  • Applies in this implementation:

  • Kikuchi, Lackner, Tran: “Fusion Physics” (2012)
  • Wesson: “Tokamaks” (4th edition 2011)
  • Dolan: “Magnetic Fusion Technology” (2014)
  • Stacey: “Introduction to the Physics and Technology of Magnetic Confinement Fusion” (2010)
  • Stangeby: “The Plasma Boundary in magnetic fusion devices” (2000)
  • Duderstadt, Moses: “Inertial confinement fusion” (1982)
  • Material from plasma physics summer schools
  • Various review papers on fusion

Substitutes for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    This course replaces the course Tfy-56.4414 Fusion Energy Technology.

SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    7 Affordable and Clean Energy