autumn 2020
FYS-2009 Introduction to plasma physics - 10 ECTS

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester. Applicants from outside the Nordic countries: 1 October for the spring semester and 15 April for the autumn semester

Type of course

The course is available as a singular course.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements are generell studiekompetanse + SIVING.

Local admission, application code 9391 - singular courses in engineering sciences.

The course is also available to exchange students and Fulbright-students.

Course overlap

If you pass the examination in this course, you will get an reduction in credits (as stated below), if you previously have passed the following courses:

FYS-2009 Introduction to plasma physics 10 stp
FYS-210 Introduction to plasma physics 10 stp

Course content

The course provides the basic foundation for more specialized studies in plasma physics and cosmical geophysics. Subjects treated include single particle motions in prescribed electromagnetic fields; kinetic theory and phase space; derivation of fluid equations and discussion of fluid closure; theory of plasma waves, dispersion relations, resonances and cut off phenomena; collisions, resistivity and diffusion in magnetized plasmas; one-fluid description, magnetohydrodynamics, equilibrium and stability.

Recommended prerequisites

FYS-1001 Mechanics, FYS-1002 Electromagnetism

Objectives of the course

Knowledge - The student can:

  • define the plasma state, give examples of different kinds of plasmas and explain the parameters characterizing them
  • analyze the motion of charged particles in electric and magnetic fields
  • formulate kinetic and fluid descriptions of plasma and understand the applicability of the appropriate approximations (kinetic theory, magnetohydrodynamics, twofluid model)
  • discuss collisions, resistivity and diffusion in both fully and weakly ionized plasmas based on charged particle motions
  • explain the properties of the most important wave modes in plasmas, discuss dispersion relations, polarization and motion of the charged particles
  • discuss interaction between particles and waves, Landau damping
  • give a basic explanation of plasma equilibrium, confinement and stability

Skills - The student can:

  • describe and characterize plasma as a fourth state of matter in nature and laboratory
  • solve basic problems in plasma dynamics using particle, kinetic and fluid descriptions

General expertise - The student can:

  • recognize applications of plasmas in modern society
  • communicate theories, problem descriptions and solutions regarding dynamics of fluids and plasmas

Language of instruction and examination

The language of instruction is English and all of the syllabus material is in English. Examination questions will be given in English, but may be answered either in English or a Scandinavian language.

Teaching methods

Lectures: 50 hours Exercises: 24 hours


Portfolio assessment of a take-hom examination counting about 25% and a final 4 hours written examination counting 75%. All modules in the portfolio must be delivered and one combined grade is given.

Assessment scale: Letter grades A-F. A is the highest grade and F is failed.

Re-sit examination. There will not be arranged a re.sit examination in this course.

Postponed examination (sections 17 and 21): Students with valid grounds for absence will be offered a postponed examination. Postponed take-home examination is arranged during the semester if possible, otherwise early in the following semester. Postponed written examination is held early in the following semester.

See indicated sections in Regulations for examinations at the UiT The arctic university of Norway for more information.

  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: FYS-2009
  • Earlier years and semesters for this topic