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Introduction to Plasmas and Plasma Dynamics

Book Description

Introduction to Plasmas and Plasma Dynamics provides an accessible introduction to the understanding of high temperature, ionized gases necessary to conduct research and develop applications related to plasmas. While standard presentations of introductory material emphasize physics  and the theoretical basis of the topics, this text acquaints the reader with the context of the basic information and presents the fundamental knowledge required for advanced work or study.

The book relates theory to relevant devices and mechanisms, presenting a clear outline of analysis and mathematical detail; it highlights the significance of the concepts with reviews of recent applications and trends in plasma engineering, including topics of plasma formation and magnetic fusion, plasma thrusters and space propulsion.



  • Presents the essential principles of plasma dynamics needed for effective research and development work in plasma applications
  • Emphasizes physical understanding and supporting theoretical foundation with reference to  their utilization in devices,  mechanisms and phenomena
  • Covers a range of applications, including energy conversion, space propulsion, magnetic fusion, and space physics.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover image
  2. Title page
  3. Table of Contents
  4. Copyright
  5. Dedication
  6. Preface
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Chapter 1. The Plasma Medium and Plasma Devices
    1. Introduction
    2. Plasmas in Nature
    3. Plasmas in Laboratory/Device Applications
  9. Chapter 2. Kinetic Theory of Gases
    1. Introduction
    2. Basic Hypotheses of Kinetic Theory
    3. Pressure, Temperature, and Internal Energy Concepts
    4. Kinetic Theory and Transport Processes
    5. Mathematical Formulation of Equilibrium Kinetic Theory
  10. Chapter 3. Molecular Energy Distribution and Ionization in Gases
    1. Introduction
    2. Molecular Energy
    3. Ionization in Gases
  11. Chapter 4. Electromagnetics
    1. Introduction
    2. Electric Charges and Electric Fields—Electrostatics
    3. Electric Currents and Magnetic Fields—Magnetostatics
    4. Conservation of Charge
    5. Faraday's Law
    6. Ampere's Law
    7. Maxwell's Equations
    8. Forces and Currents due to Applied Fields
    9. Plasma Behavior in Gas Discharges
    10. Illustrative Applications of Maxwell's Equations
  12. Chapter 5. Plasma Parameters and Regimes of Interaction
    1. Introduction
    2. External Parameters
    3. Particle (Collision) Parameters
    4. Sheath Formation and Effects
    5. Plasma Oscillations and Plasma Frequency
    6. Magnetic Field Related Parameters
    7. Electrostatic Particle Collection in (Langmuir) Probes
  13. Chapter 6. Particle Orbit Theory
    1. Introduction
    2. Charged Particle Motion in Constant, Uniform Magnetic (B→) Field
    3. Particle Motion in Uniform Electric and Magnetic Fields
    4. Particle Motion in Spatially Varying (Inhomogenous) Magnetic Fields
    5. Particle Motion with Curvature of the Magnetic Field Lines
    6. Particle Motion in Time-Varying Magnetic Field
    7. Particle Trapping in Magnetic Mirrors
    8. Adiabatic Invariants
  14. Chapter 7. Macroscopic Equations of Plasmas
    1. Introduction
    2. Electromagnetic Energy and Momentum Addition to Plasmas
    3. Conservation Equations of Magnetofluid Mechanics
    4. Single Fluid Equations of Magnetofluid Mechanics
    5. The MHD Approximations
    6. Similarity Parameters
  15. Chapter 8. Hydromagnetics—Fluid Behavior of Plasmas
    1. Introduction
    2. Basic Equations of Continuum Plasma Dynamics
    3. Transport Effects in Plasmas and Plasma Devices
    4. Kinematics (and Dynamics) of Magnetic Fields in Plasmas
    5. Magnetohydrostatics
    6. Hydromagnetic Stability
    7. Waves in Plasma—Propagation of Perturbations
    8. Fluid Waves and Shock Waves in Plasma
  16. Chapter 9. Plasma Dynamics and Hydromagnetics: Reviews of Applications
    1. Introduction
    2. Plasma Acceleration and Energy Conversion
    3. Plasma Thrusters
    4. Magnetic Compression and Heating
    5. Wave Heating of Plasmas
    6. Magnetic Fusion Plasmas
    7. Space Plasma Environment and Plasma Dynamics
  17. Appendix A. Conversion between MKS and Gaussian System
  18. Appendix B. Definite Integrals – Maxwellian Distribution Functions
  19. Appendix C. Nomenclature
  20. Appendix D. Problems
  21. Index