ED3250 Plasma Waves II 3.0 credits

Plasmavågor II

Having finished the course, the student should be able to give an account of the theoretical basis for waves appearing in plasmas, including their propagation and absorption. Intended for students already having taken a course covering electromagnetic waves in dispersive media.

  • Education cycle

    Third cycle
  • Main field of study

  • Grading scale

    P, F

Information for research students about course offerings

The course is given when there is sufficient demand. Please contact the examiner if you are interested in taking the course.

Intended learning outcomes

To provide the theoretical basis for waves appearing in plasmas, propagation and absorption of them. When completing the course, the student should be able to

  • Derive the dispersion relation for waves in a cold plasmas
  • Characterize the more common cold plasma waves
  • Be familiar with the CMA diagram
  • Solve wave equation in a planar geometry with WKB
  • Describe how to treat the plasma response and basic properties of the response tensor
  • Describe how one calculates wave propagation with the ray tracing method
  • Describe the collisionless absorption mechanisms in a plasma
  • Describe how the emission and absorption processes are related

Course main content

Plasma waves and some kinetic theory. Waves in cold plasmas. Cold dielectric tensor. Oscillations in a bounded plasma. WKB, Ray tracing. Reflection, absorption and emission processes. Collisionless absorption mechanisms: Landau damping, cyclotron damping and TTMP damping. Kramers-Kronig´s and Onsagers relations. Emission of waves. Larmor formula.


Seminars or discussion meetings.


Recommended prerequisites

ED2210, Electromagnetic Processes in Dispersive Media or a similar course.


T.H. Stix,Waves in Plasmas, American Institute of Physics, New York, 1992. Chapters 1-4, 11 or similar literature e.g. in D.G. Swanson, Plasma Waves, second edition, Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd 2003 London. 


  • EXA1 - Examination, 3.0, grading scale: P, F

Requirements for final grade

Written and a final oral exam.

Offered by

EECS/Fusion Plasma Physics


Thomas Jonsson


Thomas Jonsson <johnso@kth.se>


Course syllabus valid from: Spring 2012.
Examination information valid from: Spring 2019.