There is no required textbook for this course, but the following books are recommended reference texts. Prof. Ian Hutchinson’s 2003 lecture notes are also included on this page.




Chen, F. F. Introduction to Plasma Physics. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Springer, 1984. ISBN: 9780306413322.

See also:

Shohet, J. L. The Plasma State. San Diego, CA: Academic Press Inc., 1971. ISBN: 9780126405507.

Tanenbaum, B. S. Plasma Physics. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1967. ISBN: 9780070628120.


Hazeltine, R. D., and F. L. Waelbroeck. The Framework of Plasma Physics. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2004. ISBN: 9780813342139.

Goldston, R. J., and P. H. Rutherford. Introduction to Plasma Physics. Philadelphia, PA: IOP Publishing, 1995. ISBN: 9780750301831.

See also:

Clemmow, P. C., and J. P. Dougherty. Electrodynamics of Particles and Plasmas. New York, NY: Perseus Books, 1989. ISBN: 9780201515008.

Spitzer, Lyman, Jr. Physics of Fully Ionized Gases. 2nd ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 1962.

Schmidt, G. Physics of High Temperature Plasmas. 2nd ed. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, 1979. ISBN: 9780126266603. (Recommended for theory of particle orbits.)

Boyd, T. J. M., and J. J. Sanderson. Plasma Dynamics. New York, NY: Barnes and Noble, 1969. (Recommended for the statistical mechanics description of plasmas.)

Dendy, R., ed. Plasma Physics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1995. ISBN: 9780521484527. (Recommended for specific chapters on space and plasmas and on industrial plasmas.)


Krall, N. A., and A. W. Trivelpiece. Principles of Plasma Physics. Berkeley, CA: San Francisco Press, 1986. ISBN: 9780911302585.

See also:

Ichimaru, S. Principles of Plasma Physics - A Statistical Approach. Boston, MA: Addison Wesley Publishing Company, 1973. ISBN: 9780805387520.


J. P. Freidberg. Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics. New York, NY: Springer, 1987. ISBN: 9780306425127.

Plasma Waves

Stix, T. H. Waves in Plasmas. New York, NY: Springer, 1992. ISBN: 9780883188590.

Plasma Diagnostics

Huddlestone, R. H., and S. L. Leonard. Plasma Diagnostic Techniques. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, 1965.

Hutchinson, I. H. Principles of Plasma Diagnostics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005. ISBN: 9780521675741.

Magnetic Confinement Fusion

Buy at MIT Press Rose, D. J., and M. Clark, Jr. Plasmas and Controlled Fusion. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1961. ISBN: 9780262180061.

Buy at MIT Press Miyamoto, K. Plasma Physics for Nuclear Fusion. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1989. ISBN: 9780262631174.

Wesson, J. Tokamaks. 3rd ed. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2004. ISBN: 9780198509226.

Plasma Astrophysics

Tajima, T., and K. Shibata. Plasma Astrophysics. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2002. ISBN: 9780813339962.

Lecture Notes

Courtesy of Prof. Ian Hutchinson. Used with permission.

Course Notes

1. Introduction (PDF)

2. Motion of charged particles in fields (PDF)

3. Collisions in plasmas (PDF - 1.2 MB)

4. Fluid description of plasma (PDF)

5. Electromagnetic waves in plasmas (PDF - 1.0 MB)

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

assignment_turned_in Problem Sets with Solutions
grading Exams with Solutions