FYS4620 – An Introduction to Plasma Physics

Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 the exams of most courses at the MN Faculty will be conducted as digital home exams or oral exams, using the normal grading scale. The semester page for your course will be updated with any changes in the form of examination.

See general guidelines for examination at the MN Faculty autumn 2020.

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 on mathematical models for plasma and will be able to distinguish the dynamics of plasmas and neutral fluid media.
  • have a very good knowledge on 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 who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

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

Overlapping courses


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

An obligatory exercise needs to be submitted by the student.

The total amount of lectures is over 60 hours.

In case of a few students registered, the course might be given as a self-study with limited supervision, i.e., without ordinary lectrues.

Regulations for mandatory assignments can be found here.


The assessment includes an oral examination in the first half of the semester, a written assignment and the final oral examination. The assignment must be passed in order to qualify for the final exam. These three components individually, counts 20,15 and 65%, of the final grade.

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

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) Nov. 28, 2020 7:12:19 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