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Plasma Diagnostic Techniques - PHY00007M

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  • Department: Physics
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Deborah O'Connell
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2020-21

Module aims

The physics of diagnostic techniques used to determine the properties of plasmas produced in fusion research is examined. The physics behind particle and probe diagnostics, plasmas refractive index measurements, the spectroscopy of plasma emission from free and bound electrons, the scattering of electromagnetic radiation and fusion product detection are reviewed.

Module learning outcomes

The underlying physics behind diagnostic techniques used in fusion research.

Methods of measuring key fusion parameters from first principles.

Academic and graduate skills

  • To enable students to develop a range of skills related to the retrieval and critical evaluation of relevant information, and
  • To provide students with a supportive environment in which they may develop the necessary presentational skills to relay information to others.

Other learning outcomes

  • To provide students with an appreciation of both magnetically confined and inertially confined fusion and an understanding of the multidisciplinary nature of research into fusion


Task Length % of module mark
24 hour open exam
Plasma Diagnostic Techniques
N/A 86
Plasma Diagnostic Techniques
N/A 14

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
24 hour open exam
Plasma Diagnostic Techniques
N/A 86

Module feedback

Weekly problem questions are marked and returned to student with comments within typically 1 week. Model answers to weekly problems are posted online immediately after the deadline for submission.

Indicative reading

  • I H Hutchinson Principles of plasma diagnostics, Cambridge 2001.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students