Checking date: 20/04/2023

Course: 2023/2024

Plasma physics and technology
Bachelor in Engineering Physics (Plan: 434 - Estudio: 363)

Coordinating teacher: SANCHEZ FERNANDEZ, LUIS RAUL

Department assigned to the subject: Physics Department

Type: Electives
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Requirements (Subjects that are assumed to be known)
Physics I. Physics II. Calculus I. Calculus II. Differential equations and transforms. Electromagnetism and optics. Statistical Physics.
To understand the basics of plasmas, the fourth state of matter. To understand the behaviour of individual charged particles and fully ionized plasmas in the presence of magnetic and electric fields. To be able to use the main mathematical models used to describe the behaviour of plasmas. To be aware of the main technological applications of plasmas.
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
1. Basics of plasmas. Definition. Debye length. Plasma frequency. Types of plasmas. 2. Charge motion in an electromagnetic field. Cyclotron motion. Drifts. Magnetic momentum and trapping. 3. Collisions in a plasma. Coulomb binary collisions. 4. Fluid description of a plasma. Magneto-hydrodynamics. Equilibrium and stability. 5. Plasma waves. Waves in a cold magnetized plasma. Plasma dielectric tensor. 6. Kinetic description of a plasma. Vlasov equation. Landau damping. Fokker-Planck equation. Fluid limit 7. Introduction to magnetically confined plasma for fusion energy generation. Tokamaks and stellarators. 8. Introduction to inertial plasmas for fusion energy generation. Lasers and plasmas. 9. Other tecnological applications of plasmas. Plasma propulsion. Industrial plasmas
Learning activities and methodology
AF1. THEORETICAL-PRACTICAL CLASSES. Knowledge and concepts students mustacquire. Receive course notes and will have basic reference texts.Students partake in exercises to resolve practical problems AF2. TUTORING SESSIONS. Individualized attendance (individual tutoring) or in-group (group tutoring) for students with a teacher.Subjects with 6 credits have 4 hours of tutoring/ 100% on- site attendance. AF3. STUDENT INDIVIDUAL WORK OR GROUP WORK.Subjects with 6 credits have 98 hours/0% on-site. AF8. WORKSHOPS AND LABORATORY SESSIONS. Subjects with 3 credits have 4 hours with 100% on-site instruction. Subjects with 6 credits have 8 hours/100% on-site instruction. AF9. FINAL EXAM. Global assessment of knowledge, skills and capacities acquired throughout the course. It entails 4 hours/100% on-site AF8. WORKSHOPS AND LABORATORY SESSIONS. Subjects with 3 credits have 4 hours with 100% on-site instruction. Subjects with 6 credits have 8 hours/100% on-site instruction. MD1. THEORY CLASS. Classroom presentations by the teacher with IT and audiovisual support in which the subject`s main concepts are developed, while providing material and bibliography to complement student learning MD2. PRACTICAL CLASS. Resolution of practical cases and problem, posed by the teacher, and carried out individually or in a group MD3. TUTORING SESSIONS. Individualized attendance (individual tutoring sessions) or in-group (group tutoring sessions) for students with teacher as tutor. Subjects with 6 credits have 4 hours of tutoring/100% on-site. MD6. LABORATORY PRACTICAL SESSIONS. Applied/experimental learning/teaching in workshops and laboratories under the tutor's supervision.
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 60
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 40
Calendar of Continuous assessment
Basic Bibliography
  • Francis F. Chen. Introduction to Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion. Springer. 2016
Additional Bibliography
  • CM Braams and PE Stott. Nuclear Fusion: half a century of magnetic confinement fusion research. Institute of Physics. 2002
  • Dan Goebel and Ira Katz. Fundamentals of electric propulsion: ion and hall thrusters. Wiley. 2008
  • Robert Goldston and Paul Rutherford. Introduction to Plasma Physics. Institute of Physics. 1995
  • S Eliezer and Y Eliezer. The fourth state of matter. Institute of Physics. 2001
  • Susanne Pfalzner. An introduction to inertial confinement fusion. Taylor & Frances. 2006

The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.