Plasma Physics: Volume 4 of Modern Classical Physics

A groundbreaking textbook on twenty-first-century plasma physics and its applications


Published (US):
Jun 15, 2021
Published (UK):
May 25, 2021
8 x 10 in.
53 color + 1 b/w illus. 2 table.
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Kip Thorne and Roger Blandford’s monumental Modern Classical Physics is now available in five stand-alone volumes that make ideal textbooks for individual graduate or advanced undergraduate courses on statistical physics; optics; elasticity and fluid dynamics; plasma physics; and relativity and cosmology. Each volume teaches the fundamental concepts, emphasizes modern, real-world applications, and gives students a physical and intuitive understanding of the subject.

Plasma Physics provides an essential introduction to the subject. A gas that is significantly ionized, usually by heating or photons, a plasma is composed of electrons and ions and sometimes has an embedded or confining magnetic field. Plasmas play a major role in many contemporary applications, phenomena, and fields, including attempts to achieve controlled thermonuclear fusion using magnetic or inertial confinement; in explanations of radio wave propagation in the ionosphere and the behavior of the solar corona and wind; and in astrophysics, where plasmas are responsible for emission throughout the electromagnetic spectrum, including from black holes, highly magnetized neutron stars, and ultrarelativistic outflows. The book also can serve as supplementary reading for many other courses, including in astrophysics, geophysics, and controlled fusion.

  • Includes many exercise problems
  • Features color figures, suggestions for further reading, extensive cross-references, and a detailed index
  • Optional “Track 2” sections make this an ideal book for a one-quarter or one-semester course
  • An online illustration package is available to professors

The five volumes, which are available individually as paperbacks and ebooks, are Statistical Physics; Optics; Elasticity and Fluid Dynamics; Plasma Physics; and Relativity and Cosmology.

Awards and Recognition

  • Kip S. Thorne, Co-Winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics
  • Roger D. Blandford, Co-Winner of the 2016 Crafoord Prize in Astronomy and Winner of the 2020 Shaw Prize in Astronomy