Introduction to Plasmas and Plasma Dynamics

Introduction to Plasmas and Plasma Dynamics

With Reviews of Applications in Space Propulsion, Magnetic Fusion and Space Physics

1st Edition - August 4, 2015

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  • Authors: Haibin Tang, Thomas York
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128018002

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Introduction to Plasmas and Plasma Dynamics provides an accessible introduction to the understanding of high temperature, ionized gases necessary to conduct research and develop applications related to plasmas. While standard presentations of introductory material emphasize physics  and the theoretical basis of the topics, this text acquaints the reader with the context of the basic information and presents the fundamental knowledge required for advanced work or study. The book relates theory to relevant devices and mechanisms, presenting a clear outline of analysis and mathematical detail; it highlights the significance of the concepts with reviews of recent applications and trends in plasma engineering, including topics of plasma formation and magnetic fusion, plasma thrusters and space propulsion.

Key Features

  • Presents the essential principles of plasma dynamics needed for effective research and development work in plasma applications
  • Emphasizes physical understanding and supporting theoretical foundation with reference to  their utilization in devices,  mechanisms and phenomena
  • Covers a range of applications, including energy conversion, space propulsion, magnetic fusion, and space physics.


Engineers and early career researchers working on plasma applications. Undergraduate and postgraduates students in thermal engineering, fluid engineering, and physics.

Table of Contents

    • Dedication
    • Preface
    • Acknowledgments
    • Chapter 1. The Plasma Medium and Plasma Devices
      • Introduction
      • Plasmas in Nature
      • Plasmas in Laboratory/Device Applications
    • Chapter 2. Kinetic Theory of Gases
      • Introduction
      • Basic Hypotheses of Kinetic Theory
      • Pressure, Temperature, and Internal Energy Concepts
      • Kinetic Theory and Transport Processes
      • Mathematical Formulation of Equilibrium Kinetic Theory
    • Chapter 3. Molecular Energy Distribution and Ionization in Gases
      • Introduction
      • Molecular Energy
      • Ionization in Gases
    • Chapter 4. Electromagnetics
      • Introduction
      • Electric Charges and Electric Fields—Electrostatics
      • Electric Currents and Magnetic Fields—Magnetostatics
      • Conservation of Charge
      • Faraday's Law
      • Ampere's Law
      • Maxwell's Equations
      • Forces and Currents due to Applied Fields
      • Plasma Behavior in Gas Discharges
      • Illustrative Applications of Maxwell's Equations
    • Chapter 5. Plasma Parameters and Regimes of Interaction
      • Introduction
      • External Parameters
      • Particle (Collision) Parameters
      • Sheath Formation and Effects
      • Plasma Oscillations and Plasma Frequency
      • Magnetic Field Related Parameters
      • Electrostatic Particle Collection in (Langmuir) Probes
    • Chapter 6. Particle Orbit Theory
      • Introduction
      • Charged Particle Motion in Constant, Uniform Magnetic (B→) Field
      • Particle Motion in Uniform Electric and Magnetic Fields
      • Particle Motion in Spatially Varying (Inhomogenous) Magnetic Fields
      • Particle Motion with Curvature of the Magnetic Field Lines
      • Particle Motion in Time-Varying Magnetic Field
      • Particle Trapping in Magnetic Mirrors
      • Adiabatic Invariants
    • Chapter 7. Macroscopic Equations of Plasmas
      • Introduction
      • Electromagnetic Energy and Momentum Addition to Plasmas
      • Conservation Equations of Magnetofluid Mechanics
      • Single Fluid Equations of Magnetofluid Mechanics
      • The MHD Approximations
      • Similarity Parameters
    • Chapter 8. Hydromagnetics—Fluid Behavior of Plasmas
      • Introduction
      • Basic Equations of Continuum Plasma Dynamics
      • Transport Effects in Plasmas and Plasma Devices
      • Kinematics (and Dynamics) of Magnetic Fields in Plasmas
      • Magnetohydrostatics
      • Hydromagnetic Stability
      • Waves in Plasma—Propagation of Perturbations
      • Fluid Waves and Shock Waves in Plasma
    • Chapter 9. Plasma Dynamics and Hydromagnetics: Reviews of Applications
      • Introduction
      • Plasma Acceleration and Energy Conversion
      • Plasma Thrusters
      • Magnetic Compression and Heating
      • Wave Heating of Plasmas
      • Magnetic Fusion Plasmas
      • Space Plasma Environment and Plasma Dynamics
    • Appendix A. Conversion between MKS and Gaussian System
    • Appendix B. Definite Integrals – Maxwellian Distribution Functions
    • Appendix C. Nomenclature
    • Appendix D. Problems
    • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 362
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2015
  • Published: August 4, 2015
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128018002

About the Authors

Haibin Tang

Professor Hai-Bin Tang is Deputy Director of the Department of Aerospace Propulsion School of Astronautics at Beihang University, China. His research interests include plasma and fluid physics, advanced propulsion and space systems, numerical modeling, and experimental measurement.

Affiliations and Expertise

School of Astronautics, Beihang University, China.

Thomas York

Dr. York is an Engineering Consultant specialising in magnetic fusion studies, experimental gas and plasma dynamics, plasma diagnostics, spare propulsion and space power. He was formerly Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Director of the Plasma Dynamics and Propulsion Laboratory at Ohio State University.

Affiliations and Expertise

Engineering Consultant, York Scientific Consultants, State College, PA, USA

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