Plasma Physics

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**Introduction**

What is Plasma?

Brief History of Plasma Physics

Fundamental Parameters

Plasma Frequency

Debye Shielding

Plasma Parameter

Collisions

Magnetized Plasmas

Plasma Beta

DeBroglie Wavelength

Exercises

**Charged Particle Motion**

**Introduction**

**Motion in Uniform Fields**

**Method of Averaging**

**Guiding Center Motion**

**Magnetic Drifts**

**Invariance of Magnetic Moment**

**Poincare Invariants**

**Adiabatic Invariants**

**Magnetic Mirrors**

**Van Allen Radiation Belts**

**Equatorial Ring Current**

**Second Adiabatic Invariant**

**Third Adiabatic Invariant**

**Motion in Oscillating Fields**

**Exercises**

**Collisions**

**Introduction**

**Collision Operator**

**Two-Body Elastic
Collisions**

**Boltzmann Collision
Operator**

**Collisional Conservation
Laws**

**Boltzmann H-Theorem**

**Two-Body Coulomb
Collisions**

**Rutherford Scattering
Cross-Section**

**Landau Collision Operator**

**Coulomb Logarithm**

**Rosenbluth Potentials**

**Collision Times**

**Exercises**

**Plasma Fluid
Theory**

**Introduction**

**Moments of Distribution
Function**

**Moments of Collision
Operator**

**Moments of Kinetic
Equation**

**Fluid
Equations**

**Entropy
Production**

**Fluid
Closure**

**Chapman-Enskog
Closure**

**Normalization of Neutral Gas
Equations**

**Braginskii
Equations**

**Normalization of Braginskii
Equations**

**Cold-Plasma
Equations**

**MHD
Equations**

**Drift
Equations**

**Closure in Collisionless Magnetized
Plasmas**

**Langmuir
Sheaths**

**Exercises**

**Waves in Cold
Plasmas**

**Introduction**

**Plane Waves in homogeneous
Plasmas**

**Cold-Plasma Dielectric
Permittivity**

**Cold-Plasma Dispersion
Relation**

**Wave
Polarization**

**Cutoff and
Resonance**

**Waves in Unmagnetized
Plasmas**

**Low-Frequency Wave
Propagation**

**Parallel Wave
Propagation**

**Perpendicular Wave
Propagation**

**Exercises**

**Wave Propagation Through
Inhomogeneous
Plasmas**

**Introduction**

**WKB
Solutions**

**Cutoffs**

**Resonances**

**Resonant
Layers**

**Collisional
Damping**

**Pulse
Propagation**

**Ray
Tracing**

**Ionospheric Radio Wave
Propagation**

**Exercises**

**Magnetohydrodynamic
Fluids**

**Introduction**

**Magnetic
Pressure**

**Flux
Freezing**

**MHD
Waves**

**Solar
Wind**

**Parker Model of
Solar
Wind**

**Interplanetary
Magnetic
Field**

**Mass and Angular
Momentum
Loss**

**MHD Dynamo
Theory**

**Homopolar Disk
Dynamo**

**Slow and Fast
Dynamos**

**Cowling
Anti-Dynamo
Theorem**

**Ponomarenko
Dynamo**

**Magnetic
Reconnection**

**Linear Tearing
Mode
Theory**

**Nonlinear
Tearing Mode
Theory**

**Fast Magnetic
Reconnection**

**MHD
Shocks**

**Parallel MHD
Shocks**

**Perpendicular
MHD
Shocks**

**Oblique MHD
Shocks**

**Exercises**

**Waves in
Warm
Plasmas**

**Introduction**

**Landau
Damping**

**Physics
of Landau
Damping**

**Plasma
Dispersion
Function**

**Ion
Acoustic
Waves**

**Waves in
Magnetized
Plasmas**

**Parallel
Wave
Propagation**

**Perpendicular
Wave
Propagation**

**Electrostatic
Waves**

**Velocity-Space
Instabilities**

**Counter-Propagating
Beam
Instability**

**Current-Driven
Ion Acoustic
Instability**

**Harris
Instability**

**Exercises**

**Bibliography**

**Index**

Richard Fitzpatrick is a Professor of Physics at the University of Texas at Austin, where he has been a faculty member since 1994. He is a member of the Royal Astronomical Society, a fellow of the American Physical Society, and the author of Maxwell's Equations and the Principles of Electromagnetism (2008), An Introduction to Celestial Mechanics (2012), and Oscillations and Waves: An Introduction (2013). He earned a Master's degree in physics from the University of Cambridge and a DPhil in astronomy from the University of Sussex.

"[This] book is a textbook treating plasma physics in its
breadth, on an introductory level, however focusing on the by far
most common form of plasma, which is the 'fully ionised,
non-relativistic, non-degenerate, quasi-neutral and weakly coupled
plasma'...The present book is intended to accompany a
graduate-level course on plasma physics, giving appropriate
end-of-chapter problems (with a solutions manual available for
teachers)... The text is nicely structured into short sections,
treating the topic with full mathematical rigour and with
references to scientific publications. It assumes an understanding
of classical mechanics, electrodynamics, waves and oscillations,
integral and differential calculus, vector fields, complex
analysis, and Fourier and Laplace transforms.

The overall text is rather concise (290 pages with 36
black-and-white illustrations) and the topics are well chosen for
such a brief introduction...the book deserves a recommendation as a
companion for an introductory course in the subject."

-Manuel Vogel, GSI Darmstadt, in *Contemporary Physics (Vol. 57,
No. 4)*

"In recent years, graduate and advanced undergraduate students
with a suitable background in classical mechanics and
electromagnetic theory have had the luxury of choosing between
several very good textbooks that present the core principles of
plasma physics. In that crowded field, Richard Fitzpatrick's
**Plasma Physics: An Introduction** distinguishes
itself by its excellence. For those of us who have admired
Fitzpatrick for his seminal contributions to the subject of
magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) instabilities in fusion plasmas, his book
is as much a source of pleasure as his papers are for their clarity
and rigor. ... the book has some unique features that make it
especially attractive to both students and researchers. Examples
include systematic and readable accounts of the Braginskii
equations and the Chapman-Enskog method for weakly collisional
plasmas. Nice physical explanations for the transport effects that
emerge from the baroque complexity of orderings and expansions will
help students see the forest for the trees. ... an excellent and
compact textbook-complete with problem sets and references-that has
earned a permanent place on my bookshelf. Thanks to the several
useful and well-presented topics, I would expect the book to endure
as a standard text in colleges and universities all over the
world."

-*Physics Today*, July 2015

"Certainly we are not short of introductory textbooks for plasma
physics, but I endorse this new one since it stands out for a
couple of good reasons. First, this book provides broad background
materials without targeting one particular area of applications of
plasma physics. This is not the case for most of the available
plasma physics books on the market. ... writing such a book is
certainly not an easy task as most authors are brought up to their
status by practicing one particular application.

Second, the book goes into fine details of the step-by-step
derivations, which is very valuable for students wanting to work
through the process. ... Finally, it contains a rich set of
real-world examples for applications of introductory plasma
physics. A good example of such is Van Allen radiation belts
mentioned in Chapter 2: Charged Particle Motion. It is just amazing
to see how much physics insights we can gain about these
complicated space plasma physics phenomena through simple charged
particle motions, which are typically described abstractly in other
textbooks."

-**Hantao Ji,** Professor of Astrophysical Sciences,
Princeton University

"One of the most confusing features of plasma physics is the
wealth of different levels of description that can be used in
different circumstances. ... This book provides an excellent
treatment of these different starting points for the description of
plasma phenomena, explaining in detail how they are related and the
regimes in which each is applicable. A student who works through
the book and problems in each chapter will have an excellent
grounding for further work in the subject. More experienced
researchers will find that it provides interesting insights into
the basics of the subject and is a valuable source of
reference."

-**Alan Cairns,** University of St Andrews, Fife,
Scotland

"This introduction to plasma physics by Richard Fitzpatrick
originates from many years of lecturing and it shows-in the most
positive way! The selection of topics is appealing to anyone
entering into high temperature plasma physics, be it astrophysics
or fusion. The physics explanations are intuitive and give great
insight and yet the mathematical treatment is rigorous where
necessary. Definitely recommended for plasma physics students, but
also the experienced researcher will find interesting aspects."

-**Hartmut Zohm**, Max-Planck-Institut fur
Plasmaphysik, Garching, Germany

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