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1. Course title

Plasmafysiikan avaruussovelluksia
Space Applications of Plasma Physics
Space Applications of Plasma Physics

2. Course code


Aikaisemmat leikkaavat opintojaksot 53769 Plasmafysiikan avaruussovelluksia, 5 op

3. Course status: optional

-Which degree programme is responsible for the course?
Master's Programme in Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences

-Which module does the course belong to?
PAP300 Advanced studies in Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences (optional for Study Track in Astrophysical Sciences)

-Is the course available to students from other degree programmes?

4. Course level (first-, second-, third-cycle/EQF levels 6, 7 and 8)

Master’s level, degree programmes in medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine = secondcycle
degree/EQF level 7
Doctoral level = third-cycle (doctoral) degree/EQF level 8

-Does the course belong to basic, intermediate or advanced studies (cf. Government Decree
on University Degrees)?
Advanced studies

5. Recommended time/stage of studies for completion

-The recommended time for completion may be, e.g., after certain relevant courses have
been completed.

6. Term/teaching period when the course will be offered

The course will be offered in the autumn term, in II period.

7. Scope of the course in credits

5 cr

8. Teacher coordinating the course

Minna Palmroth

9. Course learning outcomes

  • You will obtain solid understanding of  space physics, giving a good background in further studies and research in space plasma physics
  • Knowledge of basic solar physics, e.g., the structure of the Sun, and how energy is generated and transferred
  • You will obtain solid theoretical knowledge behind several key phenomena in space plasma physics, such as solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field, collisionless shocks, magnetospheric, and ionospheric physics
  • You will obtain skills to analyse some key data sets related to course topics (such as magnetospheric physics behind the auroral displays)
  • You will obtain solid physics-based understanding on how the solar structures affect the near-Earth dynamics, leading to space weather phenomena

10. Course completion methods

contact teaching, but can be also taken as a distance learning course

11. Prerequisites

  • Basic physics courses
  • Solid calculation skills (e.g., Mathematics for Physicists I-II, Mathematical Methods of Physics I-II)
  • Good knowledge of electrodynamics (e.g., Electrodynamics I and II)
  • Introduction to Plasma Physics

12. Recommended optional studies

  • Advanced Plasma Physics
  • Solar Physics
  • Numerical Space Physics 

13. Course content


The course contains an introduction to most important topics in space plasma physics: the Sun, solar wind, formation of the magnetosphere, ionosphere, magnetospheric dynamics, solar wind/magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling, magnetospheres of other planets, and astrophysical plasmas.

14. Recommended and required literature

  • Lecture notes

Other recommended material

  • Hannu Koskinen: Johdatus plasmafysiikkaan ja sen avaruussovellutuksiin, Limes ry., 2001
  • Kivelson, M. G., and Russell (eds.), C. T., Introduction to Space Physics, Cambridge University Press, 1995.
  • Koskinen, H. E. J., Physics of Space Storms, Springer/PRAXIS, 2011
  • Russell, C.T., Luhmann, J.G., Strangeway, R.J., Space Physics: An Introduction, Cambridge University Press

15. Activities and teaching methods in support of learning

  • lectures
  • Weekly exercises  (include plenty of practical exercises)
  • Practical exercises during the lectures
  • Student seminar 

16. Assessment practices and criteria, grading scale


  • Final grade is based on exercises (~30%), seminar (20%), and the final exam (~50%).


17. Teaching language


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