Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Fundamentals of Plasma Physics


  • Date Published: July 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521528009

£ 69.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Request inspection copy

Lecturers may request a copy of this title for inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • This rigorous explanation of plasmas is relevant to diverse plasma applications such as controlled fusion, astrophysical plasmas, solar physics, magnetospheric plasmas, and plasma thrusters. More thorough than previous texts, it exploits new powerful mathematical techniques to develop deeper insights into plasma behavior. After developing the basic plasma equations from first principles, the book explores single particle motion with particular attention to adiabatic invariance. The author then examines types of plasma waves and the issue of Landau damping. Magnetohydrodynamic equilibrium and stability are tackled with emphasis on the topological concepts of magnetic helicity and self-organization. Advanced topics follow, including magnetic reconnection, nonlinear waves, and the Fokker–Planck treatment of collisions. The book concludes by discussing unconventional plasmas such as non-neutral and dusty plasmas. Written for beginning graduate students and advanced undergraduates, this text emphasizes the fundamental principles that apply across many different contexts.

    • Applicable to many different plasma contexts
    • Uses mathematical tools to obtain deeper insights into understanding of behaviour in complex, realistic geometries
    • Contains new, modern topics such as self-organisation, topology of magnetic fields, non-neutral plasmas and dusty plasmas
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'A conscientious and elegantly produced textbook … single-particle orbit theory and linearized waves in unbounded plasma are particularly well done … A lot can be learned from it. Picking up the text and reading it at random is often rewarding.' D. C. Montgomery, Theoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics

    'Gives an exceptionally lucid and compelling overview of recent progress in this broad branch of physics. The unique organization of the book and straightforward writing style reflect the extensive teaching background of the author … A welcome addition to the library of both the expert and the newcomer to the field.' Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics

    'The book will undoubtedly be valued by those doing postgraduate work in this field, for whom it provides a useful bridge to the scientific literature. It is also highly recommended to researchers looking to widen their horizons to other areas of plasma physics outside their area of expertise.' Zulfikar Najmudin, The Times Higher Education Supplement

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521528009
    • length: 628 pages
    • dimensions: 246 x 175 x 32 mm
    • weight: 1.24kg
    • contains: 110 exercises
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Basic concepts
    2. The Vlasov, two-fluid, and MHD models of plasma dynamics
    3. Motion of a single plasma particle
    4. Elementary plasma waves
    5. Streaming instabilities and the Landau problem
    6. Cold plasma waves in a magnetized plasma
    7. Waves in inhomogeneous plasmas and wave energy relations
    8. Vlasov theory of warm electrostatic waves in a magnetized plasma
    9. MHD equilibria
    10. Stability of static MHD equilibria
    11. Magnetic helicity interpreted and Woltjer–Taylor relaxation
    12. Magnetic reconnection
    13. Fokker–Planck theory of collisions
    14. Wave-particle nonlinearities
    15. Wave-wave nonlinearities
    16. Non-neutral plasmas
    17. Dusty plasmas
    Appendix A. Intuitive method for vector calculus identities
    Appendix B. Vector calculus in orthogonal curvilinear coordinates
    Appendix C. Frequently used physical constants and formulae

  • Resources for

    Fundamentals of Plasma Physics

    Paul M. Bellan

    General Resources

    Find resources associated with this title

    Type Name Unlocked * Format Size

    Showing of

    Back to top

    *This title has one or more locked files and access is given only to lecturers adopting the textbook for their class. We need to enforce this strictly so that solutions are not made available to students. To gain access to locked resources you either need first to sign in or register for an account.

    These resources are provided free of charge by Cambridge University Press with permission of the author of the corresponding work, but are subject to copyright. You are permitted to view, print and download these resources for your own personal use only, provided any copyright lines on the resources are not removed or altered in any way. Any other use, including but not limited to distribution of the resources in modified form, or via electronic or other media, is strictly prohibited unless you have permission from the author of the corresponding work and provided you give appropriate acknowledgement of the source.

    If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Introduction to Plasma Physics
    • Introduction to Plasmas
    • Introduction to Space Plasma Physics
    • Plasmadynamics
  • Author

    Paul M. Bellan, California Institute of Technology
    Paul M. Bellan is Professor of Applied Physics at the California Institute of Technology.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.