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Plasma Physics and Fusion Research

Module PH2036

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 2011

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
SS 2022SS 2021SS 2020SS 2019SS 2018SS 2017SS 2014SS 2011

Basic Information

PH2036 is a semester module in German or English language at Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.

This module description is valid to SS 2014.

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 75 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2036 in the version of SS 2011 was Sibylle Günter.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This module provides an introduction to the plasma physics relevant for fusion research. After a discussion of the energy problem and the possible role of conventional and renewable energy, the possibilities of fusion will be outlined in a future energy mix. Subsequently, fusion processes  the stars are compared to the D-T reaction in a reactor. Based on a discussion of the energy balance the required plasma parameters in a fusion reactor derived and  the two concepts inertial confinement fusion and magnetic fusion are presented . Various configurations of magnetic confinement and the associated problems and benefits are discussed. The lecture further deals with questions of the MHD equilibrium and its stability, methods of plasma heating, heat and particle transport, as well as diagnostic methods in hot plasmas. 

Learning Outcome

After successful completion of this module the student is able

  1. to describe the fusion processes in stars and a fusion reactor
  2. to establish the energy balance of a reactor and to calculate the necessary plasma parameters
  3. to evaluate the various concepts of magnetic confinement,
  4. to calculate the MHD equilibrium in simple (linear) confinement geometries and to test for stability,
  5. explain causes of heat and particle transport in nearly collisionless plasmas
  6. to explain methods of heating and hot plasma diagnostics in fusion plasmas 


Der vorhergehende Besuch der Vorlesung "Einführung in die Plasmaphysik" wird empfohlen.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

Vortrag, Beamerpräsentation, Tafelarbeit


begleitende Internetseite, ergänzende Literatur


  • U. Stroth, Plasmaphysik, Phänomene, Grundlagen, Anwendungen,
    VIEWEG+TEUBNER Press, New York", Wiesbaden 2011
  • M. Kaufmann, "Plasmaphysik und Fusionsforschung", Teubner 2003, ISBN: 3-519-00349-X
  • U. Schumacher, "Fusionsforschung", Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft 1993, ISBN: 3-534-10905-8
  • J. Wesson, "Tokamaks", Oxford, 1997, ISBN: 0 19 856293 4 J.
  • P. Freidberg, "Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics", Plenum Press, 1987, ISBN: 0-306-42512-2

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

In an oral exam the learning outcome is tested using comprehension questions and sample problems.

In accordance with §12 (8) APSO the exam can be done as a written test. In this case the time duration is 60 minutes.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester. There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

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