Plasma Physics Applications

July 5, 2016
Laser and plasma physics

The École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne launches the second round of the Massive Open Online Course starting on January 25, 2016. It is the first MOOC that teaches the basics of plasma physics and its main applications: fusion energy, astrophysical and space plasmas, societal and industrial applications. The first round of the MOOC was a great success and had 6137 students enrolled.

About this course

This free course will provide you with a basic knowledge of plasma physics which will enable you to understand some of the most important phenomena in space and astrophysics, how plasmas can be used in industry, and how we can achieve fusion on earth to contribute solving the problem of energy in sustainable development. In the first part, we will introduce the plasma state and describe the models, from single particles to fluid, which can be applied to study its dynamics. In the second part, we will illustrate and discuss examples of plasmas in space and in astrophysics, and discuss plasma applications in industry and medicine. The third part will be dedicated to fusion energy, from the design and technology of a fusion reactor, to plasma confinement configurations for fusion, and, finally, to confining, heating, controlling and extracting energy from a burning plasma.

What you'll learn

  • Basic knowledge of plasma physics and the different models to describe plasmas
  • Vision of different applications of plasmas
  • Understanding of the fusion energy challenge, and acquisition of the basis for developing an overall vision of the different R&D elements
  • Understanding of the main plasma societal applications and of the relevant tools
  • Vision and appreciation of the importance of plasmas in space and astrophysics
  • By solving problems in course content, you will acquire some basic knowledge of MATLAB
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