EPFL Free Online Course on Plasma Physics

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne is offering free online course on Plasma Physics. In this course applicants will learn the basics of plasma, one of the fundamental states of matter, and the different types of models used to describe it, including fluid and kinetic.

This online physics course, taught by world-renowned experts of the field, gives applicants the opportunity to acquire a basic knowledge of plasma physics. The course will start on October 13, 2016.

Course At A Glance

Length: 4 weeks
Effort: 5-6 hours per week
Subject: Physics
Institution: EPFL and edX
Price: Free
Certificate Available:
Yes. Add a Verified Certificate for $49
Session: Course starts on October 13, 2016

Providers’ Details

EPFL is the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. The past decade has seen EPFL ascend to the very top of European institutions of science and technology: it is ranked #1 in Europe in the field of engineering by the Times Higher Education (based on publications and citations), Leiden Rankings, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

About This Course

Plasma, the fourth state of matter, is by far the most abundant form of known matter in the universe. Its behavior is very different from the other states of matter we are usually familiar with. To understand it, a rigorous formalism is required. This is essential not only to explain important astrophysical phenomena, but also to optimize many industrial and medical applications and for achieving fusion energy on Earth.

Why Take This Course?

This physics course, taught by world-renowned experts of the field, gives applicants the opportunity to acquire a basic knowledge of plasma physics. A rigorous introduction to the plasma state will be followed by a description of the models, from single particle, to kinetic and fluid, which can be applied to study its dynamics. You will learn about the waves that can exist in a plasma and how to mathematically describe them, how a plasma can be controlled by magnetic fields, and how its complex and fascinating behavior is simulated using today’s most powerful supercomputers.

Learning Outcomes

  • Basic knowledge of plasma physics and the different models used to describe plasmas
  • An understanding of how to numerically simulate complex plasma dynamics
  • Basic knowledge of MATLAB programming through introduction videos and exercises


  • General physics (electricity and magnetism)
  • Vector calculus


  • Ambrogio Fasoli-Director of CRPP
  • Paolo Ricci-Tenure Track Assistant Professor
  • Alan Howling-Senior Scientist, Basic Plasma Physics and Applications
  • Christian Theiler-Tenure Track Assistant Professor in Plasma Physics
  • Duccio Testa-Experimental Plasma Physics
  • Ivo Furno-Basic Plasma Physics and Applications Group
  • Jean-Philippe Hogge

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create an edX account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register Now” to get started.
  • edX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
  • Once applicant sign up for a course and activate their account, click on the Log In button on the edx.org home page and type in their email address and edX password. This will take them to dashboard, with access to each of their active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on their dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.)

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