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Plasma Physics

  1. Jul 9, 2013 #1

    I am into my pst graduation in Physics. And I would like someone to guide me in ho w to master this subject from basic level to the advanced level. What are the main topics one should know very well to start over this subject. It's applications as well.

    Thank You!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2013 #2
    When it comes to these subjects which are out of the basic curriculum, I think it's best to figure out what you need to know by talking to your coworkers. Get a basic idea of what's happening first and what you need to understand before digging into any books. This is especially true if you're working in experimentation rather than theory - it's unlikely you will need to know the exact mathematical details of the field, and it's really not a good use of time to go into too much detail. Consider that through self-study it would take you perhaps two years or more to become theoretically comfortable with the field, enough to start solving problems at all near the complexities involved in real life. It is far better for an experimentalist to have a good intuitive idea of what's going on without too much of the mathematical background, and to only look up relevant subjects when they become necessary. Over time your comprehension will grow, but I feel it's bad to sit down and try to learn it all at the beginning. Once again, if you have any difficulties I would recommend you talk to your colleagues first. They've done this before and they know what's up.

    (I say this from experience, because I work in optical physics and I spent a long time when I started trying to "master this subject from basic level to the advanced level" and I really feel that it was the wrong way to go about it. Any current research field is far too large to tackle in that manner, and your personal focus is not likely to cover the vast majority of it. I feel that it's best not to go about it in a textbook sense.)
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  4. Jul 10, 2013 #3


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  5. Jul 10, 2013 #4
    I think Francis Chen's "Introduction to Plasma Physics" book is almost universally accepted as the introductory text for plasma physics.
  6. Jul 12, 2013 #5
    Chen's book is the classic, but alot of people are using Bittencourt's more since it doesn't really go into things specifically from the fusion perspective as does Chen's book.
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