Electrical properties of plasmas and introduction to controlled fusion

Course description

  • Definitions of the Debye length, plasma parameter, plasma frequency
  • Motion of a charged particle in electric and magnetic field
  • Diffusion in a plasma and plasma conductivity
  • Kinetic and hydrodynamic description of a plasma
  • Basic MHD equations and some fusion oriented examples
  • Plasma waves
  • Binary interactions (collisions
  • Introduction to fusion, fusion reactions, power balance, magnetic and inertial confinement
  • Nonlinear phenomena: sheaths, electric probes
  • Introduction to particle-in-cell computer simulations of bounded plasma systems

Course is carried out on study programme

Objectives and competences

Objectives: Gaining basic theoretical and practical knowledge of processes in gaseous plasmas.

Competences: Knowledge of fundamental areas of plasma physics and technology and understanding of the challenges in the fusion reactor development.

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures, seminars, visits of some laboratories at the Jozef Stefan Institute

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

Understanding of the physical in plasmas, ability to use physical models andanalytical methods for determination and evaluation of key parameters of a plasma in a given plasma device.


Acquired knowledge should help the the student in following of the development in various plasma technologies and better integration in possible scientific work related to either plasma technology or energy production based on nuclear fusion.


Understanding of the role of gaseous plasmas in technology and energy production.

Transferable skills:

Comprehensive knowledge in electromagnetic interactions between charged particles, charged particle motion in electric and magnetic field, radiofrequency waves, interaction between a plasma and a solid material, solving transport and wave equations.

Reference nosilca

1. Gruenwald J, Tskhakaya D, Kovačič J, Čerček M, Gyergyek T, Ionita C, Schrittwieser R (2013) Comparison of measured and simulated electron energy distribution functions in low-pressure helium plasmas. Plasma Sources Sci. Technol., 22:015023

2. Gyergyek T, Kovačič J (2012) Saturation of a floating potential of an electron emitting electrode with increased electron emission : a one-dimensional kinetic model and particle-in-cell simulation. Phys. Plasmas, 19: 013506

3. Gyergyek T, Jurčič-Zlobec B, Čerček M, Kovačič J (2009) Sheath structure infront of an electron emitting electrode immersed in a two-electron temperature plasma: a fluid model and numerical solutions of the Poisson equation. Plasma Sources Sci. Technol., 18:035001

4. Gyergyek T, Kovačič J (2015) Fluid model of the sheath in front of a floating electrode immersed in a magnetized plasma with oblique magnetic field: Some comments on ion source terms and ion temperature effects.  Phys. Plasmas, 22:043502

5. Gyergyek T, Kovačič J (2015) A self-consistent two-fluid model of a magnetized plasma-wall transition.  Phys. Plasmas, 22:093511

Study materials

  1. J. A. Bittencourt, Fundamentals of plasma physics, 3rd edition, Springer 2004
  2. U. S. Inan and M. Golkowski, Principles of plasma physics for engineers and scientists, Cambridge University Press, 2011
  3. J. Friedberg, Plasma Physics and Fusion energy, Cambridge University Press, 2007
  4. J. Wesson, Tokamaks, 4th edition, Oxford University Press, 2011
  5. A. Piel, Plasma physics – An introduction to laboratory space and fusion plasmas, Springer 2010
  6. F. F. Chen, Introduction to plasma physics and controlled fusion, 2nd edition, Plenum Press, 1984
  7. C. K. Birdsall and A. B. Langdon, Plasma physics via computer simulation, IOP publishing 1991 (reprint 1995)
  8. R. W. Hockney, J. W. Eastwood, Computer simulation using particles, IOP publishing, 1994

Bodi na tekočem

Univerza v Ljubljani, Fakulteta za elektrotehniko, Tržaška cesta 25, 1000 Ljubljana

E:  dekanat@fe.uni-lj.si T:  01 4768 411