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Description of 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.

Course Prerequisites



Amazon logo Helander, Per, Dieter J. Sigmar. Collisional Transport in Magnetized Plasmas. Cambridge University Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780521807982.

Problem Sets

The problem sets (approximately weekly) are an essential part of the course. Working through these problems is essential to understanding the material. Problem sets will generally be assigned on Tuesday and will be due on the following Tuesday. All problem sets will be posted on the course Web site. Problem set solutions will be posted on the Web site following the due date. No problem sets will be accepted after the solutions have been posted.


There will be one comprehensive TAKE HOME final exam.

Term Paper

There is no term paper required for this course.


The final grade for the course will be based on the following:

Weekly Problem Sets 60%
Final Exam 40%

Web Site

As the semester progresses, we will post important information and other helpful material on the course Web site. You should check the Web site for announcements (rescheduling etc.) prior to each class. All problem sets and solutions will also be posted on the Web site.