Course detail

Plasma Physics and Diagnostics

FEKT-MPA-FPLAcad. year: 2023/2024

This course is an introduction to plasma science. The following topics are demonstrated during a semester:
Plasma state properties. Plasma generation. Plasma of gas discharges. Plasma and energy conversion (MHD generators, direct conversion of heat into electrical energy). Plasma as a source of radiation, plasma source of light, low-pressure and high pressure lamps, gaseous lasers, plasma displays. Plasma as working medium (material processing, electrical cleaning of gases). Plasma as particles source (generation of ions and fast neutrals). Plasma as a source of motion (ion and plasma drives). Controlled thermonuclear fusion.

Language of instruction


Number of ECTS credits


Mode of study

Not applicable.

Entry knowledge

The subject knowledge on the Bachelor´s degree level is requested.

Rules for evaluation and completion of the course

- written test, up to 15 pts;
- numerical and laboratory projects, up to 45 pts;
- final written test, up to 40 pts
The content and forms of instruction in the evaluated course are specified by a regulation issued by the lecturer responsible for the course and updated for every academic year.


- to obtain an overall view of the plasma science of materials and applications to engineering;
- to develop problem solving skills in plasma technologies;
- to become aware of the role of plasma physics in industrial sphere;
- to recognize basic methods of plasma diagnostics in quenching chambers of switchgear, plasma torches and other plasma devices.

Graduates in the subject are able to:
- recognize characteristics of the plasma state and illustrate its properties;
- give examples of the plasma state either in nature or in industrial practice;
- demonstrate skills in a mathematical modeling of a plasma;
- use mathematical formulas for description of basic plasma processes;
- define kinetic processes in a plasma state;
- describe transport and thermodynamic properties in a plasma;
- describe collision processes in a plasma;
- analyse motion of charged particles in both electric and magnetic fields;
- characterize various gas discharges;
- describe DC and AC arc plasmas;
- recognize basic plasma diagnostic methods;
- explain principles of nuclear fusion as a source of energy.

Study aids

Not applicable.

Prerequisites and corequisites

Not applicable.

Basic literature

M. I. Boulous, P. Fauchais, E. Pfender: Thermal Plasmas - Fundamentals and Applications, Plenum Press, New York, 1994. (EN)

Recommended reading

Not applicable.

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme MPA-EEN Master's, 1. year of study, winter semester, compulsory-optional
  • Programme MPA-EAK Master's, 1. year of study, winter semester, compulsory-optional
  • Programme MPAD-BIO Master's, 2. year of study, winter semester, compulsory-optional

Type of course unit



26 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer


1. Introduction to plasma physic, history, basic parameters.
2. Plasma technology - introduction.
3. Charged particles motion.
4. Introduction to kinetic theory of gases.
5. Classification of gas discharges.
6. Electric arc, switching arc.
7. Plasma diagnostics.
8. Therma plasma modelling.
9. Plasma sources of radiation, gaseous lasers. 10. Plasma as a source of motion, ion and plasma 11. Other plasma applications.
12. Controlled thermonuclear fusion.
13. Summary, final test.

Exercise in computer lab

20 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer


1. Calculation of Maxwell distribution of molecule velocities in a gas.
2. Calculation of electron ionization with Maxwell distribution of velocities.
3. Calculation of ionization in plasmas using Sahas equation.
4. Calculation of electric arc plasma parameters according Mayer's equation.
5. Calculation of radiation intensity of black body (Planck's, Wienn's and Rayleigh-Jeans' laws).
6. Prediction of radiation influence to isothermal diagram of SF6 plasma.
7. Final exercise, evaluation, credits.

Laboratory exercise

6 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer


1. Introduction, organization and safety rules.
2. Experimental prediction of electrodes temperature.
3. Measurement of DC arc E-I characteristics.
4. Measurement of AC arc E-I characteristics.
5. Measurement of relative temperature distribution in AC electric arc.
6. Application of equidensitometry method to the electric arc shape prediction.