Fall Semester Courses
APC 503/AST 557 Analytical Techniques in Differential Equations
Instructor: Roscoe B. White
Asymptotic methods, Dominant balance, ODEs: initial and Boundary value problems, Wronskian, Green's functions, Complex Variables: Cauchy's theorem, Taylor and Laurent expansions, Approximate Solution of Differential Equations, singularity type, Series expansions. Asymptotic Expansions. Stationary Phase, Saddle Points, Stokes phenomena. WKB Theory: Stokes constants, Airy function, Derivation of Heading's rules, bound states, barrier transmission. Asymptotic evaluation of integrals, Laplace's method, Stirling approximation, Integral representations, Gamma function, Riemann zeta function. Boundary Layer problems, Multiple Scale Analysis
APC 524/MAE 506/AST 506 Software Engineering for Scientific Computing
Instructors: Clarence W. Rowley, Robert H. Lupton, and James M. Stone
The goal of this course is to teach basic tools and principles of writing good code, in the context of scientific computing. Specific topics include an overview of relevant compiled and interpreted languages, build tools and source managers, design patterns, design of interfaces, debugging and testing, profiling and improving performance, portability, and an introduction to parallel computing in both shared memory and distributed memory environments. The focus is on writing code that is easy to maintain and share with others. Students will develop these skills through a series of programming assignments and a group project.
AST 551/MAE 525 General Plasma Physics I
Instructors: Nathaniel J. Fisch and Hong Qin
An introductory course to plasma physics, with sample applications in fusion, space and astrophysics, semiconductor etching, microwave generation, plasma propulsion, high power laser propagation in plasma; characterization of the plasma state, Debye shielding, plasma and cyclotron frequencies, collision rates and mean-free paths, atomic processes, adiabatic invariance, orbit theory, magnetic confinement of single-charged particles, two-fluid description, magnetohydrodynamic waves and instabilities, heat flow, diffusion, kinetic description, and Landau damping. The course may be taken by undergraduates with permission of the instructor.
AST 553 Plasma Waves and Instabilities
Instructors: Cynthia K. Phillips and Ilya Y. Dodin
Wave phenomena in a cold magnetized plasma, including resonances, cut-offs, mode conversion, drift waves, weak collisions, energy transport and finite temperature effects over a wide range of frequencies. Development of the full hot plasma model for waves in locally homogeneous plasmas, including collisionless damping mechanisms such as Landau, cyclotron and TTMP damping, velocity-space instabilities and Nyquist analysis, hot plasma mode conversion, and Bernstein waves. Applications to plasma diagnostics, radiofrequency plasma heating and noninductive current drive, and magnetospheric propagation.
AST 555 Fusion Plasmas & Plasma Diagnostics
Instructors: Philip C. Efthimion and Richard P. Majeski
Introduction to experimental plasma physics, with emphasis on high-temperature plasmas for fusion. Requirements for fusion plasmas: confinement, beta, power and particle exhaust. Discussion of tokamak fusion and alternative magnetic and inertial confinement systems. Status of experimental understanding: what we know and how we know it. Key plasma diagnostic techniques: magnetic measurements, Langmuir probes, microwave techniques, spectroscopic techniques, electron cyclotron emission, Thomson scattering.
AST 558 Seminar in Plasma Physics
Instructor: Allan H. Reiman
Advances in experimental and theoretical studies or laboratory and naturally-occurring high-termperature plasmas, including stability and transport, nonlinear dynamics and turbulence, magnetic reconnection, selfheating of "burning" plasmas, and innovative concepts for advanced fusion systems. Advances in plasma applications, including laser-plasma interactions, nonneutral plasmas, high-intensity accelerators, plasma propulsion, plasma processing, and coherent electromagnetic wave generation.
Spring Semester Courses
AST 552 General Plasma Physics II
Instructors: Hantao Ji and William M. Tang
Introduction to Plasma Physics at the Graduate level. Principles and applications of magnetohydrodynamic and kinetic theory are discussed. These principles are fundamental to Plasma Science, and the illustrative applications are relevant to current magnetic fusion research and plasma astrophysics.
AST 554 Irreversible Processes in Plasmas
Instructor: John A. Krommes
Introduction to theory of fluctuations and transport in plasma. Origins of irreversibility. Random walks, Brownian motion, and diffusion; Langevin and Fokker-Planck theory. Fluctuation-dissipation theorem; test-particle superposition principle. Statistical closure problem. Derivation of kinetic equations from BBGKY hierarchy and Klimontovich formalism; properties of plasma collision operators. Classical transport coefficients in magnetized plasmas; Onsager symmetry. Introduction to plasma turbulence, including quasilinear theory. Applications to current problems in plasma research.
AST 558 Seminar in Plasma Physics
Instructors: Nathaniel J. Fisch and Allan H. Reiman
Advances in experimental and theoretical studies or laboratory and naturally-occurring high-temperature plasmas, including stability and transport, nonlinear dynamics and turbulence, magnetic reconnection, selfheating of "burning" plasmas, and innovative concepts for advanced fusion systems. Advances in plasma applications, including laser-plasma interactions, nonneutral plasmas, high-intensity accelerators, plasma propulsion, plasma processing, and coherent electromagnetic wave generation.
AST 560 Computational Methods in Plasma Physics
Instructor: Stephen C. Jardin
Analysis of methods for the numerical solution of the partial differential equations of plasma physics, including those of elliptic, parabolic, hyperbolic, and eigenvalue type. Topics include finite difference, finite element, spectral, particle-in-cell, Monte Carlo, moving grid, and multiple-time-scale techniques, applied to the problems of plasma equilibrium, transport and stability. Basic parallel programming concepts are discussed.
AST 562 Laboratory in Plasma Physics
Instructor: Samuel A. Cohen
Develop skills, knowledge, and understanding of basic and advanced laboratory techniques used to measure the properties and behavior of plasmas. Representative experiments are: cold-cathode plasma formation and architecture; ambipolar diffusion in afterglow plasmas; Langmuir probe measurements of electron temperature and plasma density; period doubling and transitions to chaos in glow discharges; optical spectroscopy for species identification; microwave interferometry and cavity resonances for plasma density determination; and momentum generated by a plasma thruster.
AST 565 Physics of Nonneutral Plasmas (Next offered Spring 2014)
Instructor: Hong Qin
The course provides an introduction to the dynamics of nonneutral plasmas and charged particles with intense self fields. Topics include: nonlinear stability and confinement theorems, collective waves and instabilities, and nonlinear processes in high-intensity periodic-focussing accelerators. The modern geometric and field-theoretical methods for plasma and charged particle dynamics are introduced, including topics such as non-canonical Hamiltonian dynamics, symmetry group analysis, Lie perturbations, symplectic reduction, symplectic integrator, and the discrete exterior calculus algorithm for Maxwell's equations.