SPA 522 - INTRODUCTION TO PLASMA PHYSICS

Semester Hours: 3

Provides students with an introduction to the basic physical processes associated with plasmas, which permeate all space environments. Both particle and fluid approaches are introduced, and a variety of elementary drift and wave phenomena are derived. Applications of the theory to various plasma instabilities are explored, along with specific examples of where these may occur in space science. While the goal of this course is to prepare students for more advanced topics in space physics, many of the fundamentals covered are equally relevant for students interested in plasma confinement and its associated engineering challenges.