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I have an undergraduate background of electrodynamics, special theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. I would like to study plasma physics by myself so please suggest a few introductory books on the topic.

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Before answering, please see our policy on resource recommendation questions. Please write substantial answers that detail the style, content, and prerequisites of the book, paper or other resource. Explain the nature of the resource so that readers can decide which one is best suited for them rather than relying on the opinions of others. Answers containing only a reference to a book or paper will be removed!

  • $\begingroup$ typing plasma physics into amazon will give a list of books with blurbs, press releases, customer reviews etc - what are you looking for besides that sort of information? $\endgroup$ – innisfree Jul 1 '15 at 18:16
  • $\begingroup$ Related: physics.stackexchange.com/q/22838/2451 $\endgroup$ – Qmechanic Jul 1 '15 at 18:23
  • $\begingroup$ Note there are (at least) two main branches of plasma physics books these days: astrophysical plasmas and fusion plasmas. You kind of have to decide which application you want the theory grounded in. $\endgroup$ – user10851 Jul 1 '15 at 21:01
  • $\begingroup$ George Parks wrote an introductory textbook a few years back and there is a good one by Gurnett and Bhattacharjee in 2005. If you want to look at instabilities, Treumann and Baumjohann wrote a two-part book that is pretty good or you can look at S. Peter Gary's book on plasma instabilities. $\endgroup$ – honeste_vivere Jul 3 '15 at 11:50
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Introduction to Plasma Physics by Francis Chen is probably one of the best sources for introductory plasma physics, despite being slightly dated (publication date of 1995) and using CGS units. It covers, among other things,

  • particle motions in E&M fields
  • plasmas as fluids (e.g., MHD)
  • plasmas as particles (kinetic theory)
  • controlled fusion

As a background, you'll probably only need to recall E&M, some statistical mechanics and some vector calculus; much of the book builds on previous chapters, so it can be used for self-study as well as coursework. There are problems to solve at the end of each section of the chapter, though no solutions appendix.

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