Univ. Belgrade
Dr D. Onić
Dynamics of Cosmic Plasma
(S2, elective, 6 ECTS)
Learning Outcomes:Student should possess advanced knowledge in the filed of cosmic plasma dynamics, understands the limitations and advantages of different plasma models, recognizes and applies different methods of plasma physics in the case of various astrophysical processes, and is also capable to perform independent research in the cosmic plasma dynamics.
Knowledge and Understanding:
Obtaining advanced and specific knowledge in the field of cosmic plasma dynamics. Besides analytical considerations, student is introduced to the appropriate numerical simulation methods in plasma astrophysics. The main formal verification of the learning outcomes is carried out at the end of the course with an oral examination. During the exam, it is required that the student possess a knowledge of the topics discussed during the particular course, but also to show the ability to perform connections with different fields of Astrophysics. Student is also supposed to perform a project (related to the application of numerical simulations in the plasma astrophysics) that is to be defended at the end of the course.
Applying Knowledge and Understanding:The course consists both of a theoretical base, necessary to acquire all the basic knowledge on different methods in plasma astrophysics, and of the numerical simulation part, in which the particular applications to the cosmic plasma are of interest. Particular attention is paid to the ability to identify the areas of applicability of different models of cosmic plasma.
PrerequisitesBasic knowledge of classical electrodynamics, vector algebra/analysis, numerical mathematics, and programming.
ProgramQuick overview of the main cosmic plasma properties. Theoretical methods in cosmic plasma dynamics. Charged particle motion in the prescribed fields. Motion of charged particles in the magnetospheres of Earth and planets. Elements of plasma kinetic theory. Macroscopic transport equations. Generalized Ohm’s law. Introduction to the magnetohydrodynamics and its applications to the various cosmic plasmas (e.g., applications in solar physics). The importance and validity of Alfvén’s theorem. Basic theory of waves and important instabilities in comsic plasmas. Solar and stellar winds. Collisionless plasmas. Physics of Landau damping. Cosmic shock waves (e.g., planetary bow shocks, supernova remnants, etc.).
Description of how the course is conductedThe main, theoretical part of the course consists of lectures presented on a blackboard. Every theory class is accompanied by particular examples, so that the important concepts do not remain too abstract. These lectures are based on the frontal teaching. Students will also work on the basic numerical simulation projects, independently or in small groups. These practical sessions will be of a hands ontype. They are guided though the different steps necessery to soleve their particular problems of interest.
Description of the didactic methodsSee point above.
Description of the evaluation methodsThe final exam is based on two independent types of learning assessment. (1) An oral exam whose objective is to verify that the student has achieved an adequate understanding of cosmic plasma dynamics. It is also required that the student possess the ability to perform connections with different fields of Astrophysics. (2) Oral and written project presentation, carried out as an individual or small group project, to verify that the student is capable to apply the adopted theoretical knowledge to the real cosmic plasma cases.
Adopted Textbooks1. Bittencourt J. A., 2004, Fundamentals of Plasma Physics, Third Edition, Springer-Verlag, New York, Inc. 2. Goedbloed J. P., Poedts S., 2004, Principles of Magnetohydrodynamics with Applications to Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas, Cambridge University Press, New York 3. Goossens M., 2003, An introduction to plasma astrophysics and magnetohydrodynamics, Kluwer Academic Publications, Dordrecht 3. Fitzpatrick, R., 2015, Plasma Physics: An Introduction, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, Florida 4. Kulsrud R. M., 2005, Plasma Physics for Astrophysics, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey
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