Fall 2015 Graduate Courses

Fall 2015

Special Topics in Low Temperature Plasma (Half-Term)
This course will cover selected aspects of low temperature plasma physics, including collisions and transport phenomena in partially ionized plasma/weakly ionized gas and plasma-surface interactions with applications to gas discharges.
Instructors: Yevgeny Raitses
Seminar in Theoretical Astrophysics
Designed to stimulate students in the pursuit of research. Participants in this seminar discuss critically papers given by seminar members. Ordinarily, several staff members also participate. Often topics are drawn from published data that present unsolved puzzles of interpretation.
Instructors: Adam S. Burrows
Seminar in Plasma Physics
Advances in experimental and theoretical studies or laboratory and naturally-occurring high-termperature plasmas, including stability and transport, nonlinear dynamics and turbulence, magnetic reconnection, selfheating of "burning" plasmas, and innovative concepts for advanced fusion systems. Advances in plasma applications, including laser-plasma interactions, nonneutral plasmas, high-intensity accelerators, plasma propulsion, plasma processing, and coherent electromagnetic wave generation.
Instructors: Samuel A. Cohen, Allan H. Reiman
Seminar in Observational Astrophysics: Seminar in Observational Astrophysics
Students prepare and deliver presentations on selected topics in observational astronomy, and discuss each other's work.
Instructors: Neta A. Bahcall, Michael Abram Strauss
Plasma Waves and Instabilities
Hydrodynamic and kinetic models of nonmagnetized and magnetized plasma dispersion; basic plasma waves and their applications; basic instabilities; mechanisms of collisionless dissipation; geometrics-optics approximation, including ray tracing, field-theoretical description of continuous waves, and ponderomotive effects; conservation laws and transport equations for the wave action, energy, and momentum; mode conversion; quasilinear theory.
Instructors: Ilya Yevgenyevich Dodin
General Plasma Physics I
An introductory course to plasma physics, with sample applications in fusion, space and astrophysics, semiconductor etching, microwave generation, plasma propulsion, high power laser propagation in plasma; characterization of the plasma state, Debye shielding, plasma and cyclotron frequencies, collision rates and mean-free paths, atomic processes, adiabatic invariance, orbit theory, magnetic confinement of single-charged particles, two-fluid description, magnetohydrodynamic waves and instabilities, heat flow, diffusion, kinetic description, and Landau damping. The course may be taken by undergraduates with permission of the instructor.
Instructors: Nathaniel J. Fisch, Hong Qin
Fusion Plasmas & Plasma Diagnostics
Introduction to experimental plasma physics, with emphasis on high-temperature plasmas for fusion. Requirements for fusion plasmas: confinement, beta, power and particle exhaust. Discussion of tokamak fusion and alternative magnetic and inertial confinement systems. Status of experimental understanding: what we know and how we know it. Key plasma diagnostic techniques: magnetic measurements, Langmuir probes, microwave techniques, spectroscopic techniques, electron cyclotron emission, Thomson scattering.
Instructors: Philip Charles Efthimion, Richard P. Majeski
Extragalactic Astronomy
This course is an overview of cosmology and extragalactic astronomy, with an emphasis on the connection between theoretical ideas and observational data. The Big Bang model and the standard cosmological model will be emphasized, as well as the properties and evolution of galaxies, quasars, and the intergalactic medium.
Instructors: Jenny E. Greene, Michael Abram Strauss
Dynamics of Stellar and Planetary Systems
Galactic structure, morphology and dynamics. Equilibrium and stability of stellar systems. The gravitational N-body problem, relaxation, dynamical friction, and the Fokker-Planck equation. Encounters and mergers of stellar systems. Spiral structure. Elements of planetary dynamics and celestial mechanics.
Instructors: Roman R. Rafikov