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: Jason Parisi

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 2019
Fisher Room (Dennys Wilkinson Building)
Mondays 14:00-16:00 weekly
Tue 15-Jan-19 and Tue 22-Jan-19 16:00-17:00


Two classes:
Fri 8-Feb-19
Fri 8-March-19
Hour and place TBD.

Syllabus currently given below is subject to revision.

Any feedback on the notes and problemsets is welcome!

Lecture I (Mon 14-Jan-19) Particle motion in magnetized plasmas.

Lecture II (Tue 15-Jan-19) Some examples of guiding center motion.

Lecture III (Mon 21-Jan-19) High and low flow drift kinetics.

Lecture IV (Tue 22-Jan-19) Electrostatic drift kinetics.

Lecture V (Mon 28-Jan-19) Drift waves. ITG instability. Kinetic MHD.

Lectures VI (Mon 4-Feb-19) 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 11-Feb-19) Cold plasma waves.

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

Lecture IX (Mon 25-Feb-19) Cut-offs and resonances. Hot plasma waves.

Lecture X (Mon 4-March-19) 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 5-Feb-19)
Problem Set II (Due Tue 5-March-19)


  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)