PL1: Waves in Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas

Module title: Waves in Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas (PL1)

Module convenor: Dr Erwin Verwichte (University of Warwick)

The module aims to provide a postgraduate level basis of wave dynamics, applied to plasmas. Basic concepts such as wave phase and group speeds, dispersion relations, cut-offs and resonances, as well as relevant basic plasma physics will be reintroduced. The fluid and kinetic descriptions of waves are studied and applied to uniform and non-uniform media, as well as different geometries. Main wave types are identified and their application to laboratory and astrophysical plasmas explored. Topics such as continuous wave spectra, Landau damping, wave scattering, nonlinear wave dynamics and plasma heating are discussed. The module will use/introduce mathematical concepts relevant to wave dynamics.

Objectives: At the end of the module you should
- be able to apply the fluid and kinetic descriptions of waves.
- be able to derive plasma wave equations and dispersion relations in various geometries.
- be able to use a computer language such as IDL or MATLAB to manipulate and visualise wave relevant data
- be able to write up a report of wave calculations using Latex

Syllabus:
- Fluid and kinetic approaches to wave dynamics
- Waves in uniform magnetized plasmas
- Waves in structured magnetized plasmas including cylindrical and toroidal geometries
- Application of wave dynamics to laboratory experiments and astrophysical observations
- Introduction to nonlinear plasma wave dynamics

Recommended Text:
- Cramer, N.F.: The Physics of Alfvén waves, Wiley-VCH, Berlin, 2001
- Stix, H.T.: Waves in Plasmas, Springer, New-York, 1992
- Whitham, G.B.: Linear and Nonlinear Waves, Wiley-Interscience Publication, New-York, 1974

Duration: 
2hs
Academic year: 
2010-2011
Starts: 
11/11/2010 - 13:00