• Dave Starinshak
  • March 30, 1 PM
  • 3866 East Hall
These are exciting times in the field of plasma physics. Rapid  
advances in supercomputing have allowed scientists to explore the  
dynamics of plasmas with unprecedented resolution and accuracy. And  
the recent construction of several advanced laser and Z-pinch  
facilities has led to the reliable production and testing of matter at  
extreme densities and temperatures. The combination of computer  
simulations and experimental data has generated new understanding in  
topics ranging from stellar evolution to nuclear fusion energy.

This talk is meant as a broad introduction to plasmas. I will detail  
some of the mathematical models commonly used in plasma physics,  
paying particular focus to the so-called continuum or fluid models.  
This includes the full equations of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) as well  
as its many simplified or asymptotic forms. Connections and  
comparisons will be made to compressible fluid dynamics, using the  
framework of conservation laws as a guide.