Basics of Plasma Astrophysics

Download Free PDF book on “Basics of Plasma Astrophysics” By Claudio Chiuderi and Marco Velli This book is an introduction to contemporary plasma physics that discusses the most relevant recent advances in the field and covers a careful choice of applications to various branches of astrophysics and space science. The purpose of the book is to allow the student to master the basic concepts of plasma physics and to bring him or her up to date in a number of relevant areas of current research.


  1. An Introduction to Plasma Physics
    1.1 Saha’s Equation
    1.2 The Debye Length
    1.3 Fundamental Plasma Parameters
    1.4 The Classical Description of Plasmas
  2. Particle Orbit Theory
    2.1 Motion in a Uniform, Static Magnetic Field
    2.2 Motion in Orthogonal Electric and Magnetic Fields
    2.3 Motion in Slowly Variable Magnetic Fields
    2.3.1 Charged Particle Orbits in the Presence of a Magnetic
    Fields with a Weak Gradient
    2.3.2 Magnetic Moment Conservation
    2.3.3 Magnetic Mirrors and Magnetic Bottles
  3. Kinetic Theory of Plasmas: An Outline
    3.1 The Distribution Function
    3.2 The Moments of the Distribution Function
    3.3 Vlasov Equation and Jeans’ Theorem
  4. Fluid Models
    4.1 The Case of Neutral Gases
    4.2 The Plasma Case: Two-Fluid Models
    4.3 The One-Fluid Model
  5. Magnetohydrodynamics
    5.1 MHD Equations
    5.1.1 Magnetic Pressure
    5.1.2 The Conservative Form of MHD Equations
    5.2 The Time Evolution of Magnetic Fields
    5.2.1 Rm 1: Magnetic Diffusion
    5.2.2 Rm 1: Alfvén’s Theorem
    5.3 Equilibrium States of Ideal Plasmas
    5.3.1 Force-Free Equilibria
    5.3.2 Equilibria in the Presence of Magnetic Forces
    5.4 Perturbed Equilibrium States
  6. Instabilities
    6.1 Linear Stability of Ideal MHD Equilibria
    6.2 Instabilities in the Presence of Gravity
    6.2.1 Rayleigh-Taylor Instability
    6.2.2 Kruskal-Shafranov Instability: B0 6¼ 0
    6.2.3 Parker Instability
    6.2.4 Instabilities in the Presence of Plasma Flows:
    Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability
    6.3 Instabilities in Cylindrical Geometry
    6.3.1 Instability of a Plasma Column
    6.3.2 The Confinement of Solar Coronal Loops 8
    6.3.3 The Magnetorotational Instability (MRI)
  7. Waves
    7.1 The Fourier Representation
    7.1.1 Phase Velocity and Group Velocity
    7.2 Waves in the Ideal MHD Regime
    7.2.1 Magnetic Waves
    7.2.2 Magnetosonic Waves
    7.3 Fluid Waves Beyond the MHD Regime
    7.3.1 Intermediate Frequencies:
    7.4 Waves in Kinetic Regimes: The Case of Landau Damping
  8. Shocks
    8.1 The Jump Conditions
    8.1.1 Contact Discontinuities
    8.1.2 Rotational Discontinuities
    8.2 MHD Shocks
    8.2.1 Perpendicular Shocks
    8.2.2 Parallel Shocks
    8.2.3 Oblique Shocks
    8.3 Shock Thickness
    8.4 Collisionless Shocks
  9. Magnetic Reconnection
    9.1 Driven Reconnection
    9.1.1 The Sweet-Parker Model
    9.1.2 An Outline of the Petscheck Model
    9.2 Spontaneous Reconnection
    9.2.1 Tearing Mode Instability
    9.2.2 The Plasmoid Instability of Thin Current Sheets
  10. MHD Turbulence
    10.1 Homogeneous and Isotropic Hydrodynamical Turbulence
    10.2 Magnetohydrodynamic Turbulence
    10.3 Turbulence and Coronal Heating
  11. Build-Up of Magnetic Fields
    11.1 The Dynamo Problem
    11.2 The Anti-Dynamo Theorems
    11.3 Phenomenological Theory of Astrophysical Dynamos
    11.3.1 The Generation of Toroidal Fields from Poloidal Ones
    11.3.2 The Generation of Poloidal Fields from Toroidal Ones
    11.4 Mean-field Electrodynamics
    11.4.1 Simple Solutions of the Dynamo Equations
    11.5 The Creation of Magnetic Fields
Book Name Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Author Claudio Chiuderi and Marco Velli
Category Physics
Book Language English
Publisher Springer Milan Heidelberg New York Dordrecht London
Pages 282
ISBN 978-88-470-5280-2
Country Italy
Book Size 4.3 MB

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