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dRic2

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I have BS in chemical engineering but now I'm going through a MS degree in nuclear engineering. Although - given my background - I should have gone for nuclear plants management, I decided to switch to the "theoretical side" of nuclear engineering (reactor physics, plasma for fusion applications and so on...). Although I'm struggling a lot I managed to get very good grades (also thanks to you ) in mathematical methods and reactor physics courses.

My main problem is the lack of preparation in EM. When I started my MS degree (last September) the only EM I knew was "high-school" EM (I didn't even knew maxwell equations). I went through Griffiths' book during this seven month and I'm currently at chapter 9 (waves). I forced myself to do 10/15 exercises per chapter (I know the number is not much, but I'm self studying while attending other courses... time's limited ). I loved Griffiths' book, but now that I know something (not much, but I definitely feel more confident), Griffiths' book's starting to feel a bit "sloppy". My point is that, even though I do not know much of EM and I have little experience in solving EM boundary conditions problems, I know a little bit more of math: in my BS in chemE I've run into Navier-Stocks equations, conservation laws, and during last semester I ran into more advanced math like distributions, transforms, orthogonal expansions in Hilbert spaces, Green's functions ecc...

That's why I picked up Jackson. Next semester I'll attend a course in plasma physics and I know our professor will use Jackson's book a lot. I read a few random pages and I really enjoyed the insight he gives, but I also find some exercises very time consuming. I know exercises are very important, but I do not have the time to do 10/15 exercise per chapter as I did with Griffiths. I'd like to know if one can "go on" without doing a lot of exercises or not. One more thing: I suck at computing strange electric and magnetic fields, but I also hope to learn to do it during the course... I mean: to what extent do I have to know EM before takin the course?

All the topics are listed here (the evaluation is an oral exam at the end of the semester):

. Maxwell's equations. Lorentz force. Electrodynamic potentials. Gauge invariance. Lorenz and Coulomb gauges. Systems of Units in Electromagnetism: SI and gauss.*Recalls of electromagnetism*. Poynting's theorem, conservation of energy in linear dispersive media. Anti-hermitian component of the dielectric tensor of a medium and its absorption properties of electromagnetic energy. Conservation of energy in the presence of spatial dispersion. Propagation of electromagnetic waves in uniform and dispersive media: linear theory.*Electrodynamics of continuous media*. Shielding of the electric charge and the Debye length. Thermodynamic properties of a classical plasma. Plasma oscillations and plasma frequency. Electrical conductivity of a plasma. Conditions of "existence" of a plasma.*Fundamental plasma parameters*. Dynamics of charged particles in constant, uniform, external electric and magnetic fields. Motion in slowly varying fields: the guiding center approximation. Drift motions. Mirror effect.*Guiding center theory*. Microscopic description of a plasma: Klimontovich equation, kinetic theory, Vlasov equation. Macroscopic descriptions of a plasma: equations for the moments and multiple fluids model. Single fluid approach: Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). Limits of validity.*Methods for the description of a plasma*. Macroscopic approach: waves in a cold plasma, waves in a hot plasma, waves in the presence of an external magnetic field. Kinetic approach: collisionless absorption of electrostatic waves, Landau damping. Physical interpretation of the resonant wave-plasma interaction.*Waves in a plasma I*. Results of the general theory of the radiation emission by moving charged particles. EM emission in a plasma: Cyclotron and Bremsstrahlung radiation.*Emission of electromagnetic radiation in a plasma I*. Introduction. Nuclear fusion reactions, thermonuclear plasmas.*Controlled thermonuclear fusion*. General aspects of the kinetic study of collective modes in a plasma. Waves in the presence of an external magnetic field in the kinetic approach: Cyclotron resonances, their physical interpretation and main properties. Introduction to the study of collective modes in a nonlinear plasma: relativistic plasma models, wave propagation of arbitrary amplitude in the cold plasma approximation.*Waves in a Plasma II*. Introduction. Interaction between electromagnetic waves and underdense/overdense plasmas. Ponderomotive force, excitation of waves in plasmas, wave-breaking. Parametric instabilities. Applications of the superintense laser-plasma interaction.*Laser-plasma interaction*. Dynamics of charged particles in toroidal and “Tokamak” magnetic configurations: consequences on the system’s physical behavior. 1D MHD equilibrium and stability: theta-pinch, Z-pinch, screw-pinch. 2D MHD equilibria and stability: balance of toroidal forces, Grad-Shafranov equation, Solove'v equilibria, stability criteria. Fundamental properties of the plasma edge region in magnetically confined systems: limiters, divertor, scrape-off layer.*Physics of magnetically confined plasmas*. General theory of the radiation emission by charged particles in motion and emission of EM radiation in a plasma: Cyclotron and Bremsstrahlung emission.*Emission of electromagnetic radiation in a plasma II*. General properties of the collisional term in the kinetic description. Coulomb collisions. Characteristic collision times. Collisional transmission of energy between electrons and ions. Descriptions of the collision integral: Balescu-Lenard, Landau and Fokker-Planck equations.*Collisions in a plasma*. Introduction. Lawson criteria and ignition conditions. Approaches to fusion: magnetic (MCF) and inertial (ICF) confinement. General scheme of a fusion power plant. Energy balances. Fundamental physical properties of magnetically/intertially confined thermonuclear plasmas. Main scientific and technological issues of fusion systems. Current state of research in MCF and ICF.*Controlled thermonuclear fusion*

Really thanks in advanced for any suggestions.