2nd Edition

Plasma Physics An Introduction

By Richard Fitzpatrick Copyright 2023
    306 Pages 45 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    306 Pages 45 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Encompasses the Lectured Works of a Renowned Expert in the Field

    Plasma Physics: An Introduction is based on a series of university course lectures by a leading name in the field, and thoroughly covers the physics of the fourth state of matter. This textbook provides a concise and cohesive introduction to plasma physics theory and offers a solid foundation for students of physics wishing to take higher level courses in plasma physics.

    Mathematically Rigorous, but Driven by Physics

    The author provides an in-depth discussion of the various fluid theories typically used in plasma physics, presenting non-relativistic, fully ionized, nondegenerate, quasi-neutral, and weakly coupled plasma. This second edition has been fully updated to include new content on collisions and magnetic reconnection.

    It contains over 80 exercises—carefully selected for their pedagogical value—with fully worked out solutions available in a separate solutions manual for professors. The material presents a number of applications, and works through specific topics including basic plasma parameters, the theory of charged particle motion in inhomogeneous electromagnetic fields, collisions, plasma fluid theory, electromagnetic waves in cold plasmas, electromagnetic wave propagation through inhomogeneous plasmas, kinetic theory, magnetohydrodynamical fluid theory, and magnetic reconnection.


    • Discusses fluid theory illustrated by the investigation of Langmuir sheaths
    • Explores charged particle motion illustrated by the investigation of charged particle trapping in the earth’s magnetosphere
    • Examines the MHD and WKB theories

    Chapter 1 – Plasma Parameters Chapter 2 – Charged Particle Motion Chapter 3 – Collisions Chapter 4 – Plasma Fluid Theory Chapter 5 – Waves in Cold Plasmas Chapter 6 – Waves in Inhomogeneous Plasmas Chapter 7 – Waves in Warm Plasmas Chapter 8 – Magnetohydrodynamical Fluids Chapter 9 – Magnetic Reconnection. Bibliography. Index.


    Richard Fitzpatrick is a Professor of Physics at the University of Texas at Austin, where he has been a faculty member since 1994. He is a member of the Royal Astronomical Society, a fellow of the American Physical Society, and the author of Maxwell’s Equations and the Principles of Electromagnetism (2008), An Introduction to Celestial Mechanics (2012), Oscillations and Waves: An Introduction (2013). Plasma Physics: An Introduction (2014), Quantum Mechanics (2015), Theoretical Fluid Mechanics (2017), Oscillations and Waves: An Introduction, 2nd Edition (2019), Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (2020), and Newtonian Dynamics: An Introduction (2022). He earned a Master’s degree in physics from the University of Cambridge and a DPhil in astronomy from the University of Sussex.