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Introduction to Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion: Volume 1: Plasma Physics [Hardcover]

Francis F. Chen
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 31 2006 0306413329 978-0306413322 2nd ed. 1984. Corr. 2nd printing 2006
TO THE SECOND EDITION In the nine years since this book was first written, rapid progress has been made scientifically in nuclear fusion, space physics, and nonlinear plasma theory. At the same time, the energy shortage on the one hand and the exploration of Jupiter and Saturn on the other have increased the national awareness of the important applications of plasma physics to energy production and to the understanding of our space environment. In magnetic confinement fusion, this period has seen the attainment 13 of a Lawson number nTE of 2 x 10 cm -3 sec in the Alcator tokamaks at MIT; neutral-beam heating of the PL T tokamak at Princeton to KTi = 6. 5 keV; increase of average ß to 3%-5% in tokamaks at Oak Ridge and General Atomic; and the stabilization of mirror-confined plasmas at Livermore, together with injection of ion current to near field-reversal conditions in the 2XIIß device. Invention of the tandem mirror has given magnetic confinement a new and exciting dimension. New ideas have emerged, such as the compact torus, surface-field devices, and the EßT mirror-torus hybrid, and some old ideas, such as the stellarator and the reversed-field pinch, have been revived. Radiofrequency heat­ ing has become a new star with its promise of dc current drive. Perhaps most importantly, great progress has been made in the understanding of the MHD behavior of toroidal plasmas: tearing modes, magnetic Vll Vlll islands, and disruptions.

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From the Back Cover

This complete introduction to plasma physics and controlled fusion by one of the pioneering scientists in this expanding field offers both a simple and intuitive discussion of the basic concepts of this subject and an insight into the challenging problems of current research. In a wholly lucid manner the work covers single-particle motions, fluid equations for plasmas, wave motions, diffusion and resistivity, Landau damping, plasma instabilities and nonlinear problems. For students, this outstanding text offers a painless introduction to this important field; for teachers, a large collection of problems; and for researchers, a concise review of the fundamentals as well as original treatments of a number of topics never before explained so clearly. This revised edition contains new material on kinetic effects, including Bernstein waves and the plasma dispersion function, and on nonlinear wave equations and solitons.

About the Author

Prof. Chen is a plasma physicist with a career extending over 48 years and encompassing both experiment and theory. He has devoted about a decade each to the subfields of magnetic fusion, laser fusion, plasma diagnostics, basic plasma physics, and low-temperature plasma physics. Most plasma students are familiar with his textbook Introduction to Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion. His current interest is in plasma processing of semiconductor circuits, especially the radiofrequency sources used to make computer chips, and in the physical processes that permit etching millions of transistors on a single chip. To learn more about this, please visit the site for UCLA's Low Temperature Plasma Technology Laboratory (LTPTL): http://www.ee.ucla.edu/~ltptl/. Though formally retired from teaching, Prof. Chen still maintains an active research group with graduate students and postdocs.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Text On The Basics - By an Expert Jan. 14 2004
Francis Chen and others pioneered the so called Q Machine at Princeton's Plasma Physics Laboratory in the 60's in which they produced a very "quiet" plasma in which they could study turbulence or propagate waves or do ion or electron heating to set up non equilibrium situations in the plasma. It was very fascinating work and received a lot of attention and led to a number of publications including articles in Scientific American and in the Journals Physics of Fluids, etc.
So this book was written by one of the acknowledged experimental pioneers in laboratory plasma physics. The first generation did things like ionization energies and plasma breakdown while Chen's generation started to do actual wave propagation in the laboratory in a controlled fashion where they had excellent control over the plasma temperature, density, phase space velocity distribution, gradients, etc. This group of researchers was able to advance and built on prior research.He takes all this hands on experience and knowledge and puts it together to write this book. If anyone is qualified it is F.F.Chen.
The reader - then - is lucky enough to have this book written by Chen a pioneering expert in drift waves and similar plasma processes. Although the book is starting to age a bit is still an excellent introduction and covers all the basic aspects. One should have completed at least the basics of electromagnetic theory before attempting to read or buy the book and I would suggest at least two years or three of undergraduate physics or EE. It is best learned and studied in an environment where you can do actual plasma physics experiments. Absob this book and you will have a broad starting base.
I just bought a new copy and use it as a reference. 5 stars.
Jack in Toronto
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4.0 out of 5 stars Still the best plasma intro July 16 2003
By Apchar
19 years later this is still the best introduction to plasma physics. Obviously written by an experimentalist. Well grounded. Emphasis on problem solving. Lots of examples. Intuitive explanations before the math. Explanations of experiments and even experimental results. Solutions in the back make it well suited for self-learners. A 3rd edition would be nice with maybe a little intro to computational methods. A vol 2 would be even nicer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great intro to plasma physics Aug. 27 2004
This is a great introduction to plasma physics. I have used this book for both undergraduate and graduate work and it lends itself well to either. Starts out basic enough for 3rd and 4th year undergrads to work with and also has enough detailed information for more advanced graduate studies. I have to recommend this as the best introduction to this field out there.
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