The following classes related to space physics have been offered in the past by the University of Minnesota Physics Department under the old quarter system. The University of Minnesota switched from the quarter system to semesters in Fall 1999. This change may affect future space physics course offerings. More information will be posted when it becomes available.

For more information or current course offerings, please consult the Current Quarter Class Schedule or the 1999-2001 Graduate School Bulletin.


Phys 5162 Introduction to Plasma Physics
(4 cr; prereq Phys 5022, 5024 or #; offered alt yrs)

Magnetohydrodynamics and properties of collisionless plasmas, with applications to the magnetic field of the earth and sun and to plasma confinement. Transport phenomena and effects of collisions.

Instructor: Wygant



Phys 5401 Introduction to Contemporary Problems in Cosmic Ray and Space Physics
(4 cr; primarily for students specializing in other areas of physics; prereq #; offered alt yrs)

Cosmic rays, their characteristics and their motion in the interplanetary and interstellar medium. Topics in x-ray and radio astronomy.

Instructor: Waddington



Phys 5422 Introduction to Magnetospheric Physics
(3 cr; prereq Phys 5022, 5024 or equiv)

Interaction of magnetospheric physics with the solar wind; single particle motions, radiation belts, and plasma convection; magnetic structure and currents; collective behavior, magnetohydrodynamic description of plasmas; discontinuities, boundary layers and shocks; plasma waves and instabilities.

Intstructors: Cattell, Lysak

Sample Syllabus
Sample Problem Set



Phys 5461 Physics and Chemistry of the Earth's Upper Atmosphere
(4 cr; prereq general physics, calculus; offered alt yrs)

Survey of atmosphere above 15 km; physics and chemistry of the stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere; temperature and density profiles; major and minor constituents and their distributions; aspects of pollutants; reactions and rates; global variation of constituents; the energy budget of the atmosphere.

Instructor: N/A



Phys 8163-8164 Plasma Physics
(3 cr per qtr; prereq 5162; offered alt yrs)

Study of properties of plasmas at an advanced theoretical level. Transport phenomena, radiation from plasma, themonuclear machines and their instabilities, and waves in magnetized plasma.

Instructor: Lysak



Phys 8165 Advanced Topics in Plasma Physics
(Cr arr)

Possible topics: theory of waves and instabilities in hot plasma.

Instructor: Lysak



Phys 8400 Seminar: Space Physics
(Cr arr; prereq #; S-N only)

Instructor: N/A

Current Seminar Schedule



Phys 8411 Cosmic Ray and Space Physics
(3 cr; prereq Phys 5102, 5053 or #; offered alt yrs)

Properties of energetic particles in both solar-terrestrial and astrophysical environments. The earth's radiation belts, effects of the earth's magnetic field on charged particles, energy and charge spectrum of cosmic rays, the structure and evolution of the galaxy, motion of particles in the galactic and intergalactic medium, and topics in x-ray and radio astronomy.

Intstructor: N/A



Phys 8421 Solar and Magnetospheric Physics
(3 cr; prereq #; offered alt yrs)

Solar surface physics including photosphere, chromosphere, and corona; spectroscopic observations and their interpretation; solar active regions, sunspots, plages; associated magnetic fields, optical, radio, and particle effects and the solar wind; the terrestrial magnetic field and trapped radiation, auroral phenomena, and geomagnetic storms.

Instructor: Kellogg, Lysak

Fall Quarter 1998 Syllabus



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Last Updated: June 16 1998