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Subatomic and Astrophysics

The Subatomic and Astrophysics track covers fundamental science from the smallest scales of elementary particles to the largest scales of the universe. It attempts to answer questions on the origin and fate of the universe, what the smallest building blocks of matter are and how elementary particles interact to form larger structures (atomic nuclei, atoms etc). Courses are given on both the theoretical and experimental aspects of these branches of physics, including how detectors originally developed for particle physics detectors are now being used for medical imaging.

Subatomic and Astrophysics at KTH

The Subatomic and Astrophysics track covers a selection of basic science topics at the forefront of contemporary physics. Both the experimental and theoretical aspects of atomic, nuclear and particle physics with applications to astrophysics are included. The application of basic science to real-life problems is illustrated through medical imaging and treatment techniques.

A minimum of 40 credits must be chosen from core knowledge courses within the track. Two mandatory courses provide a broad orientation in the concepts of subatomic physics ( SH2103 Subatomic physics ) and an advanced discussion of quantum mechanics ( SI2380 Advanced quantum mechanics ). The conditionally elective courses permit students to study several fields in more detail and explore the resulting synergy necessary for a fundamental description of the universe. The elective courses permit students to further focus their studies on a particular research field, broaden their studies within the specialisation, or further explore applications within basic science, industry and society.

Courses are taught by research groups at the Department of Physics, often in close relation to their research topics. Courses in subatomic physics, astrophysics, quantum mechanics and relativity are given by the Particle and Astroparticle Physics group , courses in medical imaging by the Physics of Medical Imaging group  group and courses in nuclear physics by the Nuclear Physics group .

Topics covered

To understand physics at the smallest and the largest scales, the frameworks of quantum mechanics and relativity are needed. Thus, courses cover both these topics and courses are also available in particle physics, nuclear physics, astrophysics and medical imaging.


After completing your master’s degree on the Subatomic and Astrophysics track, there are good opportunities for a career at international research facilities and university-based research groups. The field is international by nature, deals with large data volumes and uses state-of-the-art detector techniques. Students with knowledge in these areas are highly sought after in many areas of society, including consulting, medical imaging, space and high-tech companies, e.g in the information technology sector.

Graduate interview