Data on the course

Show instruction and examinations
PAP304 Plasma Physics, 5 cr 
Code PAP304  Validity 01.01.2017 -
Name Plasma Physics  Abbreviation Plasma Physics 
Scope5 cr   
TypeAdvanced studies
  GradingGeneral scale 
    Can be taken more than onceno
Unit Master's Programme in Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences 

Target group 

Master’s Programme in Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences is responsible for the course.

Module where the course belongs to:

  • PAP300 Advanced Studies in Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences
    Compulsory for:
    1. Study Track in Astrophysical Sciences

The course is available to students from other degree programmes.


The course will be offered in the autumn term, in period I.

Learning outcomes 
  • You will obtain solid knowledge of basic concepts and phenomena of plasma physics, useful for further studies concerning laboratory, fusion, space and astrophysical plasmas.
  • You will obtain skills to analytically solve basic problems related to plasma physics, such as particle drifts in simple magnetic field and electric field configurations
  • You will obtain skills to derive various basic plasma equations starting from basic set of fluid and Maxwell equations
  • You will obtain solid conceptual understanding and theory behind several key basic plasma phenomena, such as magnetic reconnection, magnetohydrodynamic stability and plasma instabilities.
  • You will obtain a good understanding of different approaches in plasma physics (single particle, kinetic and fluid)
Completion methods 

Contact teaching, but can be also taken as a distance learning course

  • Basic physics courses
  • Solid calculation skills (e.g., Mathematics for Physicists I-II, Mathematical Methods of Physics I-II)
  • Good knowledge on electrodynamics (e.g., Electrodynamics I and II)
Recommended optional studies 
  • Space Applications of Plasma Physics
  • Advanced Plasma Physics
  • Solar Physics
  • Numerical Space Physics

After a brief introduction and a short review of electrodynamics needed in plasma physics, the following topics are discussed: motion of charged particles in electromagnetic fields, collisions and plasma conductivity, kinetic plasma description, macroscopic plasma quantities and equations, magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), magnetic reconnection, MHD waves, cold plasma waves, warm plasma, plasma physics and fusion research.

Study materials and literature 
  • Introduction to Plasma Physics Pdf Book

Other recommended material

  • Hannu Koskinen: Johdatus plasmafysiikkaan ja sen avaruussovellutuksiin, Limes ry., 2001
  •  Baumjohann, W., Treumann, R., Basic Space Plasma Physics, Imperial College Press, 1996.
  • Boyd, T. J. M., and Sanderson, J. J., The Physics of Plasmas, Cambridge University Press, 2003.
  • Kivelson, M. G., and Russell (eds.), C. T., Introduction to Space Physics, Cambridge University Press, 1995.
  • Koskinen, H. E. J., Physics of Space Storms, Springer/PRAXIS, 2011.
  • Krall, N. A., and Trivelpiece, A. W. , Principles of Plasma Physics, San Francisco Press, 1986 (a reproduction of the original text published by McGraw-Hill, 1973).
  • Parks, G. K., Physics of Space Plasmas. An Introduction, Westview Press, 2004.
Activities and teaching methods in support of learning 
  • Lectures
  • Weekly exercises 
Assessment practices and criteria 

Final grade is based on exercises (30%) and the final exam (70%)


Current and future instruction
No instruction in WebOodi

Future examinations
Functions Name Type cr Teacher Schedule
cancelled Plasma Physics  General Examination  Minna Palmroth 
05.06.20fri 10.00-14.00
registration period has not begun Plasma Physics  General Examination  Minna Palmroth 
11.09.20fri 12.00-16.00
You may enter WebOodi: