2016 Fundamentals for Plasma Science

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Academic unit or major
Energy Sciences
Okino Akitoshi  Hotta Eiki  Horioka Kazuhiko 
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Course description and aims

Plasma, consisting of electrons and ions, is electrically neutral ionized gas. Plasma plays an important role in modern engineering. In this course, students will learn from the basics of plasma physics, plasma generation, measurement, to industrial applications of plasma. The topics include excitation and ionization, motion of charged particles in electromagnetic fields, plasma as a group of particles, plasma as a fluid, collision and transport phenomena, confinement of plasma, waves in plasma, plasma diagnostics.
The aim of this course is to understand the physics and engineering, issues, and application of plasma science.

Student learning outcomes

The concept and discussion of plasma physics have become one of the fundamentals in all aspects of science and engineering. Students will be able to understand applications of plasmas from viewpoints of engineering, starting with fundamental concepts such as movement of charged particles in electromagnetic field, characteristics as a group of charged particles, and ionization phenomena.


Plasma, discharge, ionization, excitation, Boltzmann equation, drift motion, magnetic moment, dispersion relation, sheath, thermonuclear fusion

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

To enable students to have a good understanding, of the course, problems related to the contents of the lecture are provided as exercises. We use ppt or black board in every class. Read the learning objectives of each class, and be sure to review it.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction. What is plasma? Students shall understand contents of this lecture.
Class 2 Basic processes in gases Students shall understand basic processes in gas such as particle collision.
Class 3 Generation of plasma Students shall understand generation process of discharge.
Class 4 Mass properties of plasma Students shall understand mass properties of plasma such as plasma oscillation.
Class 5 Atomic/molecular processes in plasma Students shall understand atomic/molecular process in plasma such as collision, excitation, ionization, emission.
Class 6 Basic equations and physical phenomena in weakly ionized plasma Students shall understand basic equations and physical phenomena in weakly ionized plasma.
Class 7 Applications of plasma Students shall understand latest plasma applications.
Class 8 Confirmation of understanding of first half lecture Confirmation test
Class 9 Kinetic Theory of Gases, derivation of the Boltzmann equation, and derivation of fluid equation of plasmas To understand the derivation of Boltzmann equation for describing the electron energy distribution function, and to understand the fluid equation of as the moment equation.
Class 10 Particle movement in plasmas, conservation of the magnetic moment, drift motion and electrical conductivity The students shall understand the motion of the plasma as the charged particles, and to understand magnetic moment, various drift motions, and the electrical conductivity.
Class 11 Waves in plasmas (1) dispersion relation, two-fluid plasma equation, and electrostatic wave Students shall understand various electromagnetic waves, electrostatic wave of in the plasma and how to derive equations describing, to understand the dispersion relation. In addition, they shall understand the necessity in which case we must describe the motion of ions separately, and the characteriscitcs of electrostatic wave as longitudinal wave.
Class 12 Waves in plasmas (2) electromagnetic waves, dynamic equilibrium and stability of plasmas Students shall describe the dispersion relation from the equation to derive the equations describing electromagnetic waves in the magnetic field, and anderstand the CMA diagram. Thay shall also understand the basics of confinement of fusion plasma.
Class 13 Boundary conditions of plasmas - sheath and presheath, probe measurement Students shall understand the structure of the sheath, as the boundary of the plasma and the substances in the plma. They shall also understand the probe measurement as its application.
Class 14 Numerical simulation of plasmas Students shall understand the two plasma simulation technique; the fluid method and the particle method. And they shall perform case study of each application.
Class 15 Contemporary R&D topics of thermonuclear fusion plasmas Students shall understand a variety of plasma fusion methods and the current status of the R & D issues.


Not specified

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Not specified

Assessment criteria and methods

Exercises in each lecture

Related courses

  • EEE.P331 : High Voltage Engineering
  • EEE.P461 : Pulsed Power Technology
  • EEE.P451 : Plasma Engineering

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

Electromagnetic theory and applied mathematics of undergraduate level

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