22.616 Plasma Transport Theory

Fall 2003

A tokamak schematic.
To date, the most effective way to confine a plasma magnetically is to use a toroidal, or doughnut-shaped, device called a tokamak pictured in this schematic. (Image courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Fusion Energy Sciences.)

Course Highlights

This course includes selected lecture notes, links to related resources and a complete set of assignments with solutions.

Course Description

This course describes the processes by which mass, momentum, and energy are transported in plasmas, with special reference to magnetic confinement fusion applications.

The Fokker-Planck collision operator and its limiting forms, as well as collisional relaxation and equilibrium, are considered in detail. Special applications include a Lorentz gas, Brownian motion, alpha particles, and runaway electrons.

The Braginskii formulation of classical collisional transport in general geometry based on the Fokker-Planck equation is presented.

Neoclassical transport in tokamaks, which is sensitive to the details of the magnetic geometry, is considered in the high (Pfirsch-Schluter), low (banana) and intermediate (plateau) regimes of collisionality.

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.

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Prof. Kim Molvig

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session