029:278 Space and Astrophysical Plasmas

General Course Information

Professor Gregory Howes
Office 505 Van Allen Hall
Phone (319) 335-1221
E-mail gregory-howes {at} uiowa dot edu
Office Hours Tuesday 10:45-11:45am
Wednesday 10:45-11:45am
Thursday 10:45-11:45am
or by appointment
Catalog Description This course covers the fundamentals of the dynamics and evolution of space and astrophysical plasma environments, including the structure of the heliosphere and planetary magnetospheres, structure of accretion disks, solar and stellar winds, and galaxy clusters. Waves, shocks, and turbulence will be explored, focusing on their influence on the evolution of the plasma environment. No prerequisites (the basics of the background plasma physics will be covered in this course), but 029:194 and 029:293 are recommended.
Meeting Tuesday and Thursday 9:30am - 10:45am, 618 Van Allen Hall
Textbook No required texts, but I suggest you purchase one of the recommended texts below:
1. Margaret G. Kivelson and Christopher T. Russell, Introduction to Space Physics
2. Toshiki Tajima and Kazunari Shibata, Plasma Astrophysics
Grading Homework: 75%
Final Project: 25%
Topics 1. Fundamental Plasma Physics Concepts (Single Particle Motion, MHD) (3 weeks)
2. Magnetospheric Physics (Structure and Dynamics) (5 weeks)
3. Heliospheric Physics (Structure and Dynamics) (2 weeks)
4. Astrophysical Systems (Accretion Disks, Galaxy Clusters, Supernova Remnants) (5 weeks)
5. Plasma Physics Phenomena (Shocks, Reconnection, Turbulence, Instabilities) (throughout)