Nick Murphy's Teaching Page

Astronomy 253: Plasma Astrophysics (spring 2014)

This course is a graduate introduction to plasma physics with several astrophysical applications. Topics include particle motions; kinetic theory; magnetohydrodynamics (MHD); MHD waves, shocks, and instabilities; Coulomb collisions/transport coefficients; collisionless plasmas; turbulence; energetic particles; dynamos, magnetic reconnection; and partial ionization effects.

I am co-teaching this course with Steve Cranmer.

Lecture Slides

Ideal MHD
Conservation Laws in Ideal MHD
The Virial Theorem, MHD Equilibria, and Force-Free Fields
Beyond Ideal MHD
Reduced MHD and Magnetic Field Diagnostics
MHD instabilities
Magnetorotational Instability
Cosmic Rays and Particle Acceleration
Astrophysical Dynamos
Magnetic Reconnection
Partially Ionized Plasmas, Non-Equilibrium Ionization, and Final Thoughts for Course


Course website
Official Harvard page