2017 Solar-Terrestrial Physics A

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Earth and Planetary Sciences
Nagai Tsugunobu 
Class Format
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue3-4(石川台, 2号館, 実験棟1-103)  Fri3-4(石川台, 2号館, 実験棟1-103)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

Motion of charged particle. Fundamental of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equation. Nature of collisionless plasma. Structure of magnetifc field. Plasma waves. Physcal processes for these topics will be studied.

Student learning outcomes

We study fundamental plasma processes in collisional cosmic hot ant tenuous plasma. The main topic is plasma dynamics in the context of MHD on th basis of already-stuied classical mechanism, classical electrodynamics, and fluid dynamics. Weshould know the basic difference between fluid dynamics and collisionless plasma fluid treatment.
Motion of charge particle in simplified electromagnetic field structure. MHD. MHD stability. MHD waves. MRI.


plasma, magnetohydrodynamics.

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

we study fundamentals of plasma physics with many simpke exmaples.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 What is "plasma"? The meaning of "collisionless" plasma. Need of plasma physics
Class 2 Motion of chargee particle 1. Larmor motion. Larmor radius and frequency
Class 3 Motion of chargee particle 2. ExB drift. Direction of ExB and its physical picture
Class 4 Motion of chargee particle 3. Motion under imhimogeneous magnetic field. Direction of grad B and its physical picture
Class 5 Motion of chargee particle 4. magnetic moment and invariant. definition of magnetic moment and its relationship to invariant
Class 6 Fluid approach of plasma. dynamic equation for plasmas
Class 7 Pressure in collisionless plasma. physical meaning of pressure term
Class 8 Fundamental of MHD. From Fluid eqations of plasma to MHD
Class 9 Time variation of magnetic filed in MHD. Induction eqation and MHD
Class 10 Structure of magnetic filed in MHD. Basic magnetic field structure in MHD
Class 11 MHD waves. Alfven wave. Fundamental waves in MHD
Class 12 MHD waves. Magneto-sound wave. Modification of sound wave
Class 13 Instability in MHD Criterion of instability
Class 14 Magneto-Rotational Instability (MRI) Physical picture of MRI
Class 15 Kinetic approach of plasmas Need of kinetic approach


F. F. Chen "Introduction to Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion" Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers

Reference books, course materials, etc.

There are a lot of newly published plasma textbooks in undergraduate and graduate levels.

Assessment criteria and methods

Several examples are presented as problems. These problems will be studied as reports.

Related courses

  • EPS.B212 : Electromagnetism (EPS course)
  • EPS.B330 : Fluid Mechanics (EPS course)
  • EPS.B203 : Mechanics (EPS course)

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)


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