FYS4620 – An Introduction to Plasma Physics

Course content

The course covers basic principles on plasmas, waves in plasma, stability analysis of the equilibrium solutions of the equations. Examples are taken from the phenomena in the Earth’s ionosphere and magnetosphere.

Learning outcome

After completing the course you will:

  • understand and use the basic mathematical formalism needed for describing the dynamics of continuous media.
  • have a very good knowledge of mathematical models for plasma and will be able to distinguish the dynamics of plasmas and neutral fluid media.
  • have a very good knowledge of formulating and modifying the basic dynamic fluid equations to account for the dynamics of plasma media at different levels: from MHD to kinetic scales.
  • be able to describe the propagation of waves in plasmas, and derive the dispersion relation for these waves.
  • have basic knowledge on plasma instabilities and turbulence.
  • be able to make a simplified model for the Earth´s magnetosphere, and obtain analytical expressions for some characteristic quantities.

Admission to the course

Students admitted at UiO must apply for courses in Studentweb. Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

Nordic citizens and applicants residing in the Nordic countries may apply to take this course as a single course student.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures for international applicants.

Overlapping courses


The course extends over a full semester with 3-4 hours of teaching (lectures and colloquia) per week, 60 hours of lectures in total.

In the initial part of the course, parts of the syllabus will be carried out as a self-study with bi-weekly colloquia / discussion groups.


  • Three written assignments which all together count 45 % towards the final grade.

  • Final oral exam which counts 55 % towards the final grade.

The written assignments must be passed before you can take the final oral exam.

It will also be counted as one of the three attempts to sit the exam for this course, if you sit the exam for one of the following courses: FYS9620 – An Introduction to Plasma Physics

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed in the final oral exam.​

Language of examination

The examination text is given in Norwegian. If the course is taught in English, the examination text will only be given in English. You may answer in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) Sep. 29, 2022 12:13:12 AM

Facts about this course


If the course is offered, a minimum of four students is required for ordinary lectures to take place. If less than four students participate, an exam will be given, but one should not expect ordinary teaching.

Teaching language