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Fusion Research

Module PH2196

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 2019 (current)

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

available module versions
SS 2019SS 2018SS 2017SS 2015

Basic Information

PH2196 is a semester module in German or 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.

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Biophysics

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 60 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2196 is Sibylle Günter.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


The module gives an introduction into fusion research. The lecture starts with general information on the energy problem and the role of renewable energies, storage and baseload power in a future energy mix. Afterwards basic processes and key parameters of nuclear fusion will be discussed. Different concepts of magnetic confinement of fusion plasmas will be introduced, such as magnetic mirrors, pinches, tokamaks, and stellarators. Their properties will be studied with respect to stability, confinement quality and transport. The most important heating methods and diagnostics of fusion plasmas will be introduced and existing devices and recent scientific results will be presented. As part of the lecture a visit to the tokamak ASDEX  Upgrade at the Max-Planck-Institute for Plasma Physics is foreseen.

Learning Outcome

After successful completion of this module the student is able to:

  • explain the basic fusions processes and the required parameters to obtained a self-sustained burning fusion plasma
  • explain basic principles of magnetic confinement of plasmas
  • describe the main technical elements needed to construct a tokamak or a stellarator experiment as well as to describe the individual advantages and disadvantages of these concepts
  • name and classify the most frequently observed instabilities of fusion plasmas
  • describe heating methods and diagnostics of fusion plasmas
  • discuss the processes leading to transport of heat and particles in plasmas confined in toroidal magnetic fields


No preconditions in addition to the requirements for the Master's program in Physics. A previous attandence of a lecture on plasma physics would be beneficial.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VO 2 Fusion Research Günter, S. Thu, 08:30–10:00, PH HS2
UE 2 Exercise to Fusion Research Lauber, P.
Responsible/Coordination: Günter, S.
dates in groups

Learning and Teaching Methods

The module consists of a lecture and exercise classes.

In classroom lectures the basics of fusion research are presented. Fusion research is put in context with the general energy problem as well as with basic plasma physics. Particular emphasis is put on hot topics of present research. Towards the end of the semester we visit the ASDEX Upgrade tokamak to give an even deeper insight into actual research topics.

In the exercises the content presented in the lectures is deepened mostly at hand of exercises. The students will solve the problems given in advance of the exercises. They will present and discuss their solutions with the teacher and the other students.


Lecture with Powerpoint presentation, movies and black board, exercises, internet pages, additional literature


  • U. Stroth: Plasmaphysik: Phänomene, Grundlagen, Anwendungen, Vieweg+Teubner, (2011)
  • M. Kaufmann: Plasmaphysik und Fusionsforschung, Vieweg+Teubner, (2003)
  • J. Wesson: Tokamaks, Oxford University Press, (2011)
  • R.J. Goldston & P.H. Rutherford: Introduction to Plasma Physics, Taylor & Francis, (2000)

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be an oral exam of 25 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using comprehension questions and sample calculations.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • List various fusion reactions and explain the plasma parameters to be achieved.
  • Discuss the various confinement configurations such as magnetic mirrors, tokamaks and stellarators.
  • What determines the radial transport in tokamak and stellarator plasmas?

Participation in the tutorials is strongly recommended since the exercises prepare for the problems of the exam and rehearse the specific competencies.

There will be a bonus (one intermediate stepping of "0,3" to the better grade) on passed module exams (4,3 is not upgraded to 4,0). The bonus is applicable to the exam period directly following the lecture period (not to the exam repetition) and subject to the condition that the student passes the mid-term of successful presentation of the solution of a problem in the exercise class.

Exam Repetition

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

Current exam dates

Currently TUMonline lists the following exam dates. In addition to the general information above please refer to the current information given during the course.

Prüfung in Fusionsforschung
Mo, 22.7.2019 Dummy-Termin. Wenden Sie sich zur individuellen Terminvereinbarung an die/den Prüfer(in). Anmeldung für Prüfungstermin vor So, 22.09.2019. // Dummy date. Contact examiner for individual appointment. Registration for exam date before Sun, 2019-09-22. bis 30.6.2019 (Abmeldung bis 21.7.2019)
Di, 24.9.2019 Dummy-Termin. Wenden Sie sich zur individuellen Terminvereinbarung an die/den Prüfer(in). Anmeldung für Prüfungstermin von Mo, 23.09.2019 bis Sa, 19.10.2019. // Dummy date. Contact examiner for individual appointment. Registration for exam date from Mon, 23.09.2019 till Sat, 19.10.2019. bis 23.9.2019
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