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.


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: 02.09.2024 - 04.12.2024

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

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

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

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    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 for whole curriculum period:

    homework, 2 exams

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Contact teaching, independent work (exercises, mini-assignments), exam


Study Material
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    lecture notes and web material

Substitutes for Courses
SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    4 Quality Education

    13 Climate Action

    17 Partnerships for the Goals


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Language: English

    Teaching Period: 2024-2025 Autumn I - II
    2025-2026 Autumn I - II