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2005/06 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHYS3330 Electromagnetic Radiation and Plasma Physics

10 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Professor T W Hartquist

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2005/06


PHYS2200 (Maxwell's Equations)

This module is approved as an Elective


At the end of this module, you should be able to:
- derive, using the Poynting vector, the radiative power of an accelerating charge;
- calculate the power of a charge oscillating in response to an applied electric field and use the expression for the power to derive the cross section for scattering radiation;
- calculate the index of refraction of a material that can be modelled as a composite of oscillating bound charges;
- derive the potential of a screened charge in a plasma;
- use the magnetohydrodynamics equations to calculate the speeds of compressional waves propagating parallel or perpendicular to a uniform large-scale magnetic field;
- describe the sausage and kink instabilities.

Skills outcomes
Ability to solve physical problems using mathematics.Ability to solve physical problems using mathematics.


Review of vector notation, Maxwell's equations and relevant concepts introduced in PHYS2200, Power radiated by accelerating charge, Group and phase velocity, Scattering of radiation (Thomson and Rayleigh scattering), Origin of refractive index.
Debye length, Fluid equations, Sound waves, Plasma oscillations, Dispersion of radiation propagating through a plasma, Magnetohydrodynamic equations, Magnetic induction equation, Sunspots, Magnetohydrodynamic waves propagating parallel and perpendicular to a large scale magnetic field, Adibatic invariants, Magnetic confinement of a plasma, Sausage and kink instabilities, Liouville's and Vlasov's equations.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Lectures: 22 x 1 hour.

Private study

Reading: 25 hours;
Problem solving: 53 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

3 problem sets.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

1 x 2 hour written examination at the end of the semester: 85%;
Marked problem sets: 15%.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 19/04/2005


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