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TO THE SECOND EDITION In the nine years since this book was first written, rapid progress has been made scientifically in nuclear fusion, space physics, and nonlinear plasma theory. At the same time, the energy shortage on the one hand and the exploration of Jupiter and Saturn on the other have increased the national awareness of the important applications of plasma physics to energy production and to the understanding of our space environment. In magnetic confinement fusion, this period has seen the attainment 13 of a Lawson number nTE of 2 x 10 cm -3 sec in the Alcator tokamaks at MIT; neutral-beam heating of the PL T tokamak at Princeton to KTi = 6. 5 keV; increase of average ß to 3%-5% in tokamaks at Oak Ridge and General Atomic; and the stabilization of mirror-confined plasmas at Livermore, together with injection of ion current to near field-reversal conditions in the 2XIIß device. Invention of the tandem mirror has given magnetic confinement a new and exciting dimension. New ideas have emerged, such as the compact torus, surface-field devices, and the EßT mirror-torus hybrid, and some old ideas, such as the stellarator and the reversed-field pinch, have been revived. Radiofrequency heat ing has become a new star with its promise of dc current drive. Perhaps most importantly, great progress has been made in the understanding of the MHD behavior of toroidal plasmas: tearing modes, magnetic Vll Vlll islands, and disruptions.
This complete introduction to plasma physics and controlled fusion by one of the pioneering scientists in this expanding field offers both a simple and intuitive discussion of the basic concepts of this subject and an insight into the challenging problems of current research. In a wholly lucid manner the work covers single-particle motions, fluid equations for plasmas, wave motions, diffusion and resistivity, Landau damping, plasma instabilities and nonlinear problems. For students, this outstanding text offers a painless introduction to this important field; for teachers, a large collection of problems; and for researchers, a concise review of the fundamentals as well as original treatments of a number of topics never before explained so clearly. This revised edition contains new material on kinetic effects, including Bernstein waves and the plasma dispersion function, and on nonlinear wave equations and solitons. For the third edition, updates was made throughout each existing chapter, and two new chapters were added; Ch 9 on “Special Plasmas” and Ch 10 on Plasma Applications (including Atmospheric Plasmas).
Fundamentals of Plasma Physics is a general introduction designed to present a comprehensive, logical and unified treatment of the fundamentals of plasma physics based on statistical kinetic theory, with applications to a variety of important plasma phenomena. Its clarity and completeness makes the text suitable for self-learning and for self-paced courses. Throughout the text the emphasis is on clarity, rather than formality, the various derivations are explained in detail and, wherever possible, the physical interpretations are emphasized. The mathematical treatment is set out in great detail, carrying out the steps which are usually left to the reader. The problems form an integral part of the text and most of them were designed in such a way as to provide a guideline, stating intermediate steps with answers.
The emphasis of this text is on basic plasma theory, with applications to both space and laboratory plasmas. All mathematical concepts beyond those normally covered in an advanced calculus course are fully explained. Topics covered include single-particle motions, kinetic theory, magnetohydrodynamics, small amplitude waves in both cold and hot plasmas, nonlinear phenomena and collisional effects. Applications include planetary magnetospheres and radiation belts, the confinement and stability of plasmas in fusion devices, the propagation of discontinuities and shock waves in the solar wind, and the analysis of various types of plasma waves and instabilities that can occur in planetary magnetospheres and laboratory plasma devices. This book is structured as a text for a one- or two-semester introductory course in plasma physics at the advanced undergraduate or first-year graduate level. It can also serve as a resource book on the basic principles of plasma physics.
This book is an outgrowth of courses in plasma physics which I have taught at Kiel University for many years. During this time I have tried to convince my students that plasmas as different as gas dicharges, fusion plasmas and space plasmas can be described in a uni ed way by simple models. The challenge in teaching plasma physics is its apparent complexity. The wealth of plasma phenomena found in so diverse elds makes it quite different from atomic physics, where atomic structure, spectral lines and chemical binding can all be derived from a single equation—the Schrödinger equation. I positively accept the variety of plasmas and refrain from subdividing plasma physics into the traditional, but arti cially separated elds, of hot, cold and space plasmas. This is why I like to confront my students, and the readers of this book, with examples from so many elds. By this approach, I believe, they will be able to become discoverers who can see the commonality between a falling apple and planetary motion. As an experimentalist, I am convinced that plasma physics can be best understood from a bottom-up approach with many illustrating examples that give the students con dence in their understanding of plasma processes. The theoretical framework of plasma physics can then be introduced in several steps of re nement. In the end, the student (or reader) will see that there is something like the Schrödinger equation, namely the Vlasov-Maxwell model of plasmas, from which nearly all phenomena in collisionless plasmas can be derived.

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