Oxford Master Course in Mathematical and Theoretical Physics
Centre for Postgraduate Training in Plasma Physics and High Energy Density Science

  Lecturer: Felix I. Parra
Teaching Assistant: Alessandro Geraldini

This is an MMathPhys course which we expect to be of interest to graduate students specialising in the physics (or applied mathematics) of gases and plasmas, and astrophysics.

Hilary Term 2017
Fisher Room (Dennys Wilkinson Building)
Mondays 14:00-16:00 weekly
except for the last lecture (see below)


Class 1: Fri 17-Feb-17 16.30-18.30 in DWB Seminar Room
Class 2: Fri 10-March-17 16.30-18.30 in Robert Hooke Room

Syllabus currently given below is subject to revision.

This is a new course, with a new set of notes and problems. There will be typos,
in the notes, muddy points... Any feedback is welcome!

Lecture I (Mon 16-Jan-17) Particle motion in magnetized plasmas.

Lecture II (Mon 23-Jan-17) Some examples of guiding center motion. High flow drift kinetics.

Lecture III (Mon 30-Jan-17) Low flow drift kinetics. Electrostatic drift kinetics.

Lecture IV (Mon 6-Feb-17) Drift waves. ITG instability. Kinetic MHD.

Lectures V (Mon 13-Feb-17) Alfven waves. Barnes damping.

Notes for magnetized plasmas
1. Particle motion in strong magnetic fields
2. Drift kinetics
3. Electrostatic drift kinetics and drift waves
4. Kinetic MHD
Lecture VI (Mon 20-Feb-17) Cold plasma waves.

Lecture VII (Mon 27-Feb-17) Wave propagation in an inhomogeneous plasma.

Lecture VIII (Change of time and venue: Fri 3-March-17, 16.30-18.30, Robert Hooke Room) Hot plasma waves. Cyclotron resonance.

Notes for plasma waves
1. Cold plasma waves
2. Wave propagation in an inhomogeneous plasma
3. Hot plasma waves
Problem Set I (Due Mon 13-Feb-17)
Problem Set II (Due Mon 6-March-17)


  1. R. D. Hazeltine & F. L. Waelbroeck, The Framework of Plasma Physics (Westview Press 2004) (Amazon)
  2. R. D. Hazeltine & J. D. Meiss, Plasma Confinement (Dover Publications 2003) (Amazon)
  3. R. Fitzpatrick, Plasma Physics: An Introduction (CRC Press 2014) (Amazon)
  4. T.H. Stix, Waves in Plasmas (American Institute of Physics 1992) (Amazon)
  5. R. J. Goldston & P. H. Rutherford, Introduction to Plasma Physics (CRC Press 1995) (Amazon)
  6. F. F. Chen, Introduction to Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion: Volume 1: Plasma Physics: Vol. 1 (Springer 2006) (Amazon)