ED2200 Energy and Fusion Research 6.0 credits

Energi och fusionsforskning

In earlier days, the question "For how long will the fossil fuels last?" was often raised, but experiences during the last decade have given us reasons to instead ask the question "When can we free ourselves from the dependence on fossil fuels?".
In this course, a background is given to the problems concerning future energy provision that we are realizing today and that will become critical towards the mid-century unless new energy sources are developed. We will also discuss the alternative energy sources that are known today.
Within fusion research, the goal is to produce an energy source for large scale generation of electricity. By using the surplus energy that is released when light atomic nuclei merge (fusion), the final benefit comes from an endurable and environmentally friendly "Sun on earth". Since the early 1960's, the Alfven Laboratory at KTH has been part of the international collaboration in this field.
This introductory course will provide the physical and technological basics and give a picture of the state of present day fusion research. The development has now reached a state where we may say, with some confidence, that fusion power will indeed be realized. In the course, different solutions to this "the greatest technological challenge ever pursued by man" will be presented.

  • Education cycle

    Second cycle
  • Main field of study

    Electrical Engineering
    Engineering Physics
  • Grading scale

    P, F

Course offerings

Spring 19 TEFRM/TSUEM for programme students

Spring 19 Doktorand for single courses students

  • Periods

    Spring 19 P4 (6.0 credits)

  • Application code


  • Start date


  • End date


  • Language of instruction


  • Campus

    KTH Campus

  • Tutoring time


  • Form of study


  • Number of places

    No limitation

  • Course responsible

    Jan Scheffel <jan.scheffel@ee.kth.se>

    Per Brunsell <brunsell@kth.se>

  • Teacher

    Jan Scheffel <jan.scheffel@ee.kth.se>

    Per Brunsell <brunsell@kth.se>

  • Target group

    For doctoral students at KTH

Intended learning outcomes

The main objective of this course is to present and discuss fusion energy in the perspective of future national and global energy scenarios, as well as to provide basic knowledge in fusion physics.

The student should be able to

  • give an overview of the national and global energy production within a sustainable perspective
  • discuss the need for fusion energy for future production of electricity
  • describe the principles for for magnetic confinement, both at particle- and at macroscopic level
  • give an account of the most important plasma models
  • solve simpler problems within the fusion plasma physics fields of equilibrium, stability and transport
  • describe the basic plasma parameters and correspon-ding diagnostic techniques for fusion plasmas
  • explain the function of different plasma heating techniques
  • describe the components of a fusion reactor, and their functions
  • give an account of alternative confinement schemes and the planned route to a reactor

Course main content

The course provides an introduction to the international energy problems and to fusion research. In particular, the following topics are treated:

The energy demand. Different energy sources. Environment and energy. Possible future energy scenarios. The potential of fusion energy.

Brief history of fusion research. The research at KTH and internationally.

The Lawson criterion. The fusion plasma and its quality parameters.

Theoretical plasma models.

Equilibrium. Stability. Transport.

The tokamak today and as a reactor.

Alternative fusion. Inertial confinement.

The components of a reactor.

Safety and environmental problems.

Demonstration of the experimental device Extrap T2R at the Alfvén Lab, KTH.


Students from all programs, but prerequisites listed in the course information are strongly recommended.

Recommended prerequisites

Vector calculus, corresponding to basic concepts (as contained in the KTH elementary courses in multiple variable analysis). Elementary electromagnetism.

The course EF2200 Plasma Physics is recommended, however not necessary.


Jan Scheffel and Per Brunsell: Fusion physics –

an introduction to the physics behind fusion energy, Stockholm 2016.


  • PRO1 - Project, 1.5, grading scale: P, F
  • ÖVN1 - Assignments, 4.5, grading scale: P, F

Requirements for final grade

Continual examination, consisting of home assignments (4.5 credits) and group work in class (1.5 credits). There is no final exam.

Offered by

EECS/Electrical Energy Engineering


Jan Scheffel


Jan Scheffel <jan.scheffel@ee.kth.se>

Per Brunsell <brunsell@kth.se>

Supplementary information

The course is learning oriented, with lectures using focus problems and class exercises partially carried out as group work.


Course syllabus valid from: Spring 2019.
Examination information valid from: Spring 2019.