EF2200 Plasma Physics 6.0 credits


  • Education cycle

    Second cycle
  • Main field of study

    Electrical Engineering
    Engineering Physics
  • Grading scale

    A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Course offerings

Autumn 18 for programme students

Autumn 18 Doktorand for single courses students

  • Periods

    Autumn 18 P1 (6.0 credits)

  • Application code


  • Start date


  • End date


  • Language of instruction


  • Campus

    KTH Campus

  • Tutoring time


  • Form of study


  • Number of places *

    Max. 1

    *) If there are more applicants than number of places selection will be made.

  • Target group

    For doctoral students at KHT.

Intended learning outcomes

Plasma physics is concerned with the properties of matter in the ionized state and its applications. The plasma state is characterized by complicated interactions between atomic, electric, mechanical and gasdynamic processes. Plasma physics in this way has connections to large parts of physics and electrical engineering and offers interesting possibilities for cross-field studies. Plasma physics forms the basis for space research, fusion research and a large and growing number of industrial applications. Modern plasma physics is a very active research field characterized of international cooperation.

After completing the course the participant should be able to

- define plasma state, give examples of different kinds of plasma and explain the parameters characterizing them

- analyze the motion of charged particles in electric and magnetic fields

- explain the concept of quasineutrality and describe plasma interaction with surfaces

- formulate kinetic and fluid descriptions of plasma, and understand the applicability of the appropriate approximations (ideal MHD, single fluid description, many fluid model).

- discuss plasma resistivity and diffusion in plasma based on the charged particle motion

- linearize equations describing plasma and derive differential equations for various types of waves in plasma and their dispersion relation

- explain the properties of the most important wave modes in plasma: dispersion relation, polarization and motion of the charged particles

- explain the concept of cutoff and resonance. Use the theory of electromagnetic wave propagation in plasma

- explain the concept of plasma instability, and analyze the instabilities based on the dispersion relation

- discuss interaction between particles and waves, Landau damping

- explain the use of thermonuclear fusion for energy production, and discuss problems with plasma confinement and current directions of research

- discuss technical applications of plasma; explain the most important methods for production and diagnostics of plasma in the laboratory

- show understanding of plasma processed relevant for the near-Earth environment, interplanetary space and astrophysical objects

- make estimates of various parameters in plasmas

Course main content

Definition of plasma. Quasineutrality. Occurrence of plasmas. Charged particle motion. Adiabatic invariants. Microscopic and macroscopic description of plasma. Classification of plasma. Magnetohydrodynamics. Alfven waves and magnetoacoustic waves. Diffusion and resistivity. Generalized Ohm's law. Wave propagation in plasmas. Plasma instabilities. Landau damping. Production and diagnostics of plasmas in the laboratory. Technical plasma physics. Thermonuclear fusion. Plasma in space.


Electromagnetic field theory, e.g. EI1200 or equivalent.

Documented proficiency in english B or equivalent.

Recommended prerequisites

Basic knowledge of electromagnetism is required.


- D. A Gurnett and A. Bhattacharjee, Introduction to Plasma Physics, Cambridge University Press, 2005

- Francis F. Chen, Introduction to Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, Plenum Press, 2nd edition, 1984

- Carl-Gunne Fälthammar, Plasmafysik, kompendium, Stockholm 2001 (In Swedish)

- Material som delas ut under föreläsningarna

- P. M. Bellan, Fundamentals of Plasma Physics, Cambridge University Press, 2006


  • TEN1 - Examination, 6.0, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Requirements for final grade

Written examination, bonus points from hand-in assignments.

Offered by

EECS/Electrical Energy Engineering


Nickolay Ivchenko


Mykola Ivchenko <nickolay@kth.se>

Supplementary information

Replaces 2A1131


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