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Computational plasma physics

Module MA4304

This Module is offered by TUM Department of Mathematics.

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of SS 2014

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
WS 2018/9SS 2014

Basic Information

MA4304 is a semester module in English language at Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Catalogue of non-physics elective courses
Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 45 h 5 CP

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This lecture provides an introduction to scientific computing with examples from plasma physics. A particular emphasis will be placed on the discretization of partial differential equations. Numerical methods for the Poisson equation, conservation laws as well as kinetic equations will be introduced.
In the exercise classes, an introduction to the Python computer language and basic software development techniques will be offered. This will be used to code the discretisation methods introduced in the lecture.

Learning Outcome

After successful completion of the module, students understand different methods for discretization of partial differential equations. They have a good knowledge of possibilities and limits of computer modelling and they can apply basic software development methods for efficient and reliable code development.


Introduction to numerics - modelling

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VO 2 Computational Plasma Physics [MA4304] Sonnendrücker, E. Mon, 10:15–11:45, MI 03.08.011
UE 1 Computational Plasma Physics (Exercise Session) [MA4304] Possanner, S. Sonnendrücker, E. Fri, 10:30–11:15, MI 03.04.011
and singular or moved dates

Learning and Teaching Methods

Lecture, exercises, computer exercises




R. J. Leveque: Finite Volume Methods for Hyperbolic Problems, Cambridge Texts in Applied Mathematics, 2002.

C.K. Birdsall and A.B. Langdon: Plasma Physics via Computer Simulation, Taylor & Francis, 2005

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

oral exam

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

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