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Principles of Plasma Diagnostics


  • 172 b/w illus. 50 exercises
  • Page extent: 460 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.63 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521675741 | ISBN-10: 052167574X)

This book provides a systematic introduction to the physics behind measurements on plasmas. It develops from first principles the concepts needed to plan, execute, and interpret plasma diagnostics. The book is therefore accessible to graduate students and professionals with little specific plasma physics background, but is also a valuable reference for seasoned plasma physicists. Most of the examples are taken from laboratory plasma research, but the focus on principles makes the treatment useful to all experimental and theoretical plasma physicists, including those interested in space and astrophysical applications. This second edition is thoroughly revised and updated, with new sections and chapters covering recent developments in the field. Specific areas of added coverage include neutral-beam-based diagnostics, flow measurement with mach probes, equilibrium of strongly shaped plasmas and fusion product diagnostics.

• Thoroughly revised and updated • Ideal plasma physics reference for graduate students and researchers • Pedagogical: places emphasis on physical understanding


Preface to first edition; Preface to second edition; 1. Plasma diagnostics; 2. Magnetic diagnostics; 3. Plasma particle flux; 4. Refractive-index measurements; 5. Electromagnetic emission by free electrons; 6. Electromagnetic radiation from bound electrons; 7. Scattering of electromagnetic radiation; 8. Neutral atom diagnostics; 9. Fast ions and fusion products; Appendices; Glossary.


'It is a multifaceted work which will not only serve the role of its title but also provide a good teaching and research text in basic plasma and radiation theory. In summary [Principles of Plasma Diagnostics] is a pleasure to read, and an invaluable addition to any astrophysicist's library.' The Observatory

'This book is an important contribution and should be on the shelves of most plasma physicists. It gives diagnostic physicists access to physical descriptions of their own techniques as well as to the physics of complementary observations. It provides graduate students with an effective guide for applying theoretical concepts to their experiments.' Science

'This book provides a very good introduction to plasma diagnostics for someone starting research in the field and would be a worthwhile reference book for anyone interested in plasma physics.' Australian Physicist

'Ian Hutchinson has made significant contributions to the development of the physics of many of the measurement methods that are described here, so this is a book of considerable authority and insight. It is well written and will provide much interesting reading for the experienced physicist as well as the student. … a valuable work of reference that merits a place on every diagnostician's desk.' Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion

'… provides an excellent introduction to the physical principles upon which plasma measurements are based … Hutchinson's wonderfully clear book should be compulsory reading for those who want to study plasma physics. It is an eye-opening guide to one of the most vibrant branches of science that is changing the perception of our surrounding universe.' Astronomy & Geophysics

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