Plasma Transport Theory

A tokamak schematic.

To date, the most effective way to confine a plasma magnetically is to use a toroidal, or doughnut-shaped, device called a tokamak pictured in this schematic. (Image courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Fusion Energy Sciences.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2003



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Course Features

Course Description

This course describes the processes by which mass, momentum, and energy are transported in plasmas, with special reference to magnetic confinement fusion applications.

The Fokker-Planck collision operator and its limiting forms, as well as collisional relaxation and equilibrium, are considered in detail. Special applications include a Lorentz gas, Brownian motion, alpha particles, and runaway electrons.

The Braginskii formulation of classical collisional transport in general geometry based on the Fokker-Planck equation is presented.

Neoclassical transport in tokamaks, which is sensitive to the details of the magnetic geometry, is considered in the high (Pfirsch-Schluter), low (banana) and intermediate (plateau) regimes of collisionality.

Kim Molvig. 22.616 Plasma Transport Theory, Fall 2003. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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