Topic outline

  • In this course we shall go through some of the most important theoretical foundations of plasma physics. This means putting to good use what you have learned in electromagnetism, classical mechanics and statistical physics -- and seeing how powerful tools these provide us. Due to the inherent complexity of research topics, both in space and fusion plasmas, building and using numerical models to solve the problems is an elemental part of the course.

    The topics covered in the course are:

    -- Kinetic description of plasmas: collision operator and stochastic differential equations
    -- Guiding-center approach and other ways of getting properly averaged solutions efficiently
    -- drift-wave turbulence: predator-prey models, zonal flows, ...
    -- reducing turbulent models to advection-diffusion equation: fluid transport models
    -- MHD equilibrium

    The student is assumed to be familiar with the basic concepts of plasma physics, at the level of the course PHYS-E0461, "Introduction to plasma physics for fusion and space applications", and they will be only briefly reviewed during the first lecture. However, since the introductory course has been given only once, the students not having attended it will receive help in acquiring the necessary background in plasma physics basics.