Fundamentals of Plasma Physics

Data is displayed for academic year: 2023./2024.

Course Description

Historical review of plasma physics. Characteristic plasma parameters. Debye shielding. Quasy-neutrality. Plasma and cyclotron frequencies. Collisional processes in plasma. Collisional frequency. Magnetohydrodynamics: basic equations. Instability of plasma systems. Plasma waves. Plasma diagnostics: temperature and density measurements. Types of plasma and use: artificialy produced plasmas, terrestrial plasmas, plasmas in universe.

Study Programmes

University undergraduate
[FER3-EN] Computing - study
Elective Courses (5. semester)
[FER3-EN] Electrical Engineering and Information Technology - study
Elective Courses (5. semester)

Learning Outcomes

  1. Define plasma state and characteristic plasma parameters.
  2. Explain plasma and cyclotron frequency.
  3. Describe plasma system with magnetohydrodynamics.
  4. Describe collisional processes in plasma.
  5. Describe waves in plasma.
  6. Describe plasma types and their use.
  7. Describe plasma system instabilities.

Forms of Teaching


2 cycles of lectures: 7 weeks and 6 weeks

Seminars and workshops

non mandatory seminar


problems and exercises

Partial e-learning

solving additional problems

Grading Method

Continuous Assessment Exam
Type Threshold Percent of Grade Threshold Percent of Grade
Seminar/Project 0 % 30 % 0 % 30 %
Mid Term Exam: Written 0 % 35 % 0 %
Final Exam: Written 0 % 35 %
Exam: Written 0 % 70 %

Week by Week Schedule

  1. Definition of plasma state; Ionization and recombination processes; Degree of ionization, Pressure and the mean kinetic energy of a gas particle; Equation of state, Degrees of freedom of the molecule; Thermal capacities of gases
  2. Descriptions of plasma systems; Characteristic plasma parameters, Bohr's postulates; Bohr's model of the hydrogen atom; Quantization of energy, Maxwell distribution of particle velocities, Equipartition of energy and Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution
  3. Collective interaction; Quasineutrality; Plasma and cyclotron frequency, Thermodynamic equilibrium
  4. Electron plasma frequency
  5. Debye length, Debye shielding, Classical and quantum regime, Electrostatic plasma waves, Landau damping
  6. Collision frequency, Collisions between charged and neutral particles; Collisions between charged particles, Nuclear fusion; Photoionization and excitation; Electron impact ionization; Collisions with surfaces
  7. Plasma - fluid, Equation of motion; Equation of continuity; Equation of state; Maxwell equations in plasma
  8. Midterm exam
  9. Instabilities; Plasma instabilities; MHD instabilities
  10. Plasma diagnostics: determination of temperature
  11. Plasma diagnostics: determination of density
  12. Application of plasma: artificially produced plasma
  13. Application of plasma: plasma on Earth
  14. Application of plasma: plasma in space
  15. Final exam


Sanda Pleslić (2020.), Osnove fizike plazme (elektronička skripta) 2010.-2020.,
H.-J. Kunze (2009.), Introduction to Plasma Spetroscopy, Springer
D. A. Gurnett, A. Bhattacharjee (2005.), Introduction to Plasma Physics, Cambridge University Press
A. W. DeSilva (1991.), Plasma Diagnostics, University of Maryland
I. H. Hutchinson (1987.), Principles of Plasma Diagnostics, Cambrigdge University Press
P. M. Belan (2006.), Fundamentals of Plasma Physics, Cambridge University Press

For students


ID 223371
  Winter semester
L3 English Level
L2 e-Learning
45 Lectures
0 Seminar
15 Exercises
0 Laboratory exercises
0 Project laboratory

Grading System

85 Excellent
70 Very Good
60 Good
50 Sufficient