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: Michael Hardman

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 2018
Fisher Room (Dennys Wilkinson Building)
Mondays 14:00-16:00 weekly
Dobson Room (Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics Building)
Tue 16 Jan and Tue 23 Jan 16:00-17:00


Two classes. Time and place TBD.

Syllabus currently given below is subject to revision.

Any feedback on the notes and problemsets is welcome!

Lecture I (Mon 15-Jan-18) Particle motion in magnetized plasmas.

Lecture II (Tue 16-Jan-18) Some examples of guiding center motion.

Lecture III (Mon 22-Jan-18) High and low flow drift kinetics.

Lecture IV (Tue 23-Jan-18) Electrostatic drift kinetics.

Lecture V (Mon 29-Jan-18) Drift waves. ITG instability. Kinetic MHD.

Lectures VI (Mon 5-Feb-18) 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 VII (Mon 12-Feb-18) Cold plasma waves.

Lecture VIII (Mon 19-Feb-18) Wave propagation in an inhomogeneous plasma.

Lecture IX (Mon 26-Feb-18) Cut-offs and resonances. Hot plasma waves. Cyclotron resonance.

Lecture X (Mon 5-March-18) Cyclotron resonance and other applications of hot plasma waves.

Notes for plasma waves
1. Cold plasma waves
2. Wave propagation in an inhomogeneous plasma
3. Hot plasma waves
Problem Set I (Due Tue 6-Feb-18)
Problem Set II (Due Tue 6-March-18)


  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)