Plasma Physics

An Introduction to Laboratory, Space, and Fusion Plasmas

  • Alexander Piel

Part of the Graduate Texts in Physics book series (GTP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Alexander Piel
    Pages 1-28
  3. Alexander Piel
    Pages 29-44
  4. Alexander Piel
    Pages 73-111
  5. Alexander Piel
    Pages 113-138
  6. Alexander Piel
    Pages 139-173
  7. Alexander Piel
    Pages 175-209
  8. Alexander Piel
    Pages 211-233
  9. Alexander Piel
    Pages 235-273
  10. Alexander Piel
    Pages 275-364
  11. Alexander Piel
    Pages 365-410
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 411-463

About this book


The enlarged new edition of this textbook provides a comprehensive introduction to the basic processes in plasmas and demonstrates that the same fundamental concepts describe cold gas-discharge plasmas, space plasmas, and hot fusion plasmas. Starting from particle drifts in magnetic fields, the principles of magnetic confinement fusion are explained and compared with laser fusion. Collective processes are discussed in terms of plasma waves and instabilities. The concepts of plasma description by magnetohydrodynamics, kinetic theory, and particle simulation are stepwise introduced. Space charge effects in sheath regions, double layers and plasma diodes are given the necessary attention. The novel fundamental mechanisms of dusty plasmas are explored and integrated into the framework of conventional plasmas. The book concludes with a concise description of modern plasma discharges.

Written by an internationally renowned researcher in experimental plasma physics, the text keeps the mathematical apparatus simple and emphasizes the underlying concepts. The guidelines of plasma physics are illustrated by a host of practical examples, preferentially from plasma diagnostics. There, Langmuir probe methods, laser interferometry, ionospheric sounding, Faraday rotation, and diagnostics of dusty plasmas are discussed. Though primarily addressing students in plasma physics, the book is easily accessible for researchers in neighboring disciplines, such as space science, astrophysics, material science, applied physics, and electrical engineering.

This second edition has been thoroughly revised and contains substantially enlarged chapters on plasma diagnostics, dusty plasmas and plasma discharges. Probe techniques have been rearranged into basic theory and a host of practical examples for probe techniques in dc, rf, and space plasmas. New topics in dusty plasmas, such as plasma crystals, Yukawa balls, phase transitions and attractive forces have been adopted. The chapter on plasma discharges now contains a new section on conventional and high-power impulse magnetron sputtering. The recently discovered electrical asymmetry effect in capacitive rf-discharges is described.

The text is based on an introductory course to plasma physics and advanced courses in plasma diagnostics, dusty plasmas, and plasma waves, which the author has taught at Kiel University for three decades. The pedagogical approach combines detailed explanations, a large number of illustrative figures, short summaries of the basics at the end of each chapter, and a selection of problems with detailed solutions.


Complex Plasma Dusty Plasma Gas Discharges Plasma Low Temperature Plasma Physics Magnetic Confinement Plasma Magnetized Plasma Magnetohydrodynamics Plasma Nuclear Fusion Plasma Plasma Diagnostics Textbook Plasma Physics

Authors and affiliations

  • Alexander Piel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Experimental and Applied PhysicsKiel UniversityKielGermany

Bibliographic information

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