Fundamentals of Plasma Physics

  • Class 45
  • Practice 15
  • Independent work 90
Total 150

Course title

Fundamentals of Plasma Physics

Lecture type


Course code






Lecturers and associates

Course objectives

Definition of plasma state; Ionization and recombination processes; Degree of ionization; Pressure and the mean kinetic energy of a gas particle; Equation of state; Degrees of freedom of the molecule; Thermal capacities of gases.
Descriptions of plasma systems; Characteristic plasma parameters; Bohr's postulates; Bohr's model of the hydrogen atom; Quantization of energy; Maxwell distribution of particle velocities; Equipartition of energy and Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution.
Collective interaction; Quasineutrality; Plasma and cyclotron frequency; Thermodynamic equilibrium.
Electron plasma frequency.
Debye length, Debye shielding; Classical and quantum regime; Electrostatic plasma waves, Landau damping.
Collision frequency; Collisions between charged and neutral particles; Collisions between charged particles; Nuclear fusion; Photoionization and excitation; Electron impact ionization; Collisions with surfaces.
Plasma - fluid; Equation of motion; Equation of continuity; Equation of state; Maxwell equations in plasma.
Midterm exam.
Instabilities; Plasma instabilities; MHD instabilities.
Plasma diagnostics: determination of temperature.
Plasma diagnostics: determination of density.
Application of plasma: artificially produced plasma.
Application of plasma: plasma on Earth.
Application of plasma: plasma in space.
Final exam.

Required reading

Sanda Pleslić (2018.), Osnove fizike plazme (elektronička skripta) 2010.-2018.,
H.-J. Kunze (2009.), Introduction to Plasma Spetroscopy, Springer
D. A. Gurnett, A. Bhattacharjee (2005.), Introduction to Plasma Physics, Cambridge University Press
A. W. DeSilva (1991.), Plasma Diagnostics, University of Maryland
I. H. Hutchinson (1987.), Principles of Plasma Diagnostics, Cambrigdge University Press
P. M. Belan (2006.), Fundamentals of Plasma Physics, Cambridge University Press

Minimal learning outcomes

  • Define plasma state and characteristic plasma parameters
  • Explain plasma and cyclotron frequency
  • Describe plasma system with magnetohydrodynamics
  • Describe collisional processes in plasma
  • Describe waves in plasma
  • Describe plasma types and their use
  • Describe plasma system instabilities
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