Course Meeting Times
Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session
This course introduces plasma phenomena relevant to energy generation by controlled thermonuclear fusion and to astrophysics. It will cover basic plasma properties and collective behavior, Coulomb collisions and transport processes, motion of charged particles in magnetic fields, plasma confinement schemes, MHD models, simple equilibrium and stability analysis, two-fluid hydrodynamic plasma models, and wave propagation in a magnetic field.
The course also introduces kinetic theory, the Vlasov plasma model, the relation between kinetic and fluid models, electron plasma waves and Landau damping.
In order to register for 22.611J, 8.613J and 6.651J, you should have previously completed 6.014 or 8.07 and 18.04 or 18.075, with a grade of C or higher. Exceptions to this policy will require the permission of Prof. Parker, and will be granted on a case-by-case basis.
There is no required text for this course. There is, however, a list of recommended texts in the readings section.
The weekly problem sets are an essential part of the course. Working through these problems is crucial to understanding the material. Problem sets will generally be assigned one week before they are due.
There will be one in-class (90 minute) mid-term quiz and a (3 hour) final exam. If you did well on the problem sets and exams, you should do well on the final exam.
The final grade for the course will be based on the following:
|LEC #||TOPICS||KEY DATES|
|1||Plasmas and their characterization||Problem set 1 out|
|2||Basic plasma concepts: Debye shielding, plasma frequency, plasma parameter|
|3||Charged particle motion in EM fields I||
Problem set 1 due
Problem set 2 out
|4||Charged particle motion in EM fields II|
|5||Charged particle motion in EM fields III||Problem set 2 due|
|6||Coulomb collisions: Cross-section and frequencies||Problem set 3 out|
|7||Characteristic relaxation times|
|8||Plasma fluid descriptions, two-fluid model||
Problem set 3 due
Problem set 4 out
|9||Plasma fluid descriptions, MHD model|
|10||MHD equilibrium I||
Problem set 4 due
Problem set 5 out
|11||MHD equilibrium II|
|12||MHD dynamics: Alfven waves||Problem set 5 due|
|13||MHD dynamics: Stability|
|14||Transport I||Problem set 6 out|
|16||Plasma waves I||Problem set 6 due|
|17||Plasma waves II||Problem set 7 out one day after Lec #17|
|18||Plasma waves III|
|19||Plasma waves IV||
Problem set 7 due one day after Lec #19
Problem set 8 out
|20||Plasma kinetic description|
|21||Relation of kinetic to fluid description I||
Problem set 8 due
Problem set 9 out
|22||Relation of kinetic to fluid description II|
|23||Landau damping I||Problem set 9 due one day after Lec #23|
|24||Landau damping II|
|25||Makeup lecture: Z-function; Ion acoustic waves|