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Plasma physics and E&M

  1. Sep 2, 2014 #1


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    I liked my previous courses in statistical mechanics and fluid dynamics, however I don't really like E&M, especially at the Jackson level. I am thinking about doing research in plasma physics. Would I hate plasma physics if I didn't like electrodynamics? Or is that not an issue and does plasma physics use stat mech and fluid dynamics more than electrodynamics?
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  3. Sep 2, 2014 #2


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    It can likely depend on the particular field of research to some degree, but my experience specializing in space plasma physics in graduate school was that E&M was the most important. However, most plasma models are either 1) kinetic theory which involve a mix of statistical physics and E&M, or 2) fluid models which are a mix of fluid dynamics and E&M. So fluid dynamics and stat mech can be helpful (although many plasma physicists learn kinetic theory in a plasma context, not necessarily in a more general setting).

    Take a look at some papers in the journal "Physics of Plasmas" and you will get a feel for the range of research topics.

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