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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 (for example, atomic nuclei and atoms). We offer courses on both the theoretical and experimental aspects of these branches of physics, including how detectors initially developed for particle physics detectors are now used for medical imaging.

Subatomic and Astrophysics at KTH

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

You must choose a minimum of 40 ECTS credits 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 allow you to explore a particular research field further, broaden your studies within the specialisation, or further study applications within basic science, industry and society.

The frameworks of quantum mechanics and relativity are needed to understand physics at the smallest and the largest scales Specialised courses are taught by active researchers, often in close relation to their research topics. The theory of high energy physics is covered in several courses as for example ( General relativity, SH2372 ) and ( Relativistic quantum physics, SI23890 ), while other courses are more experimentally oriented like for example ( Experimental Particle Physics, SH2203 ) and ( Medical Imaging, Signals and Systems, SH2314 ).

Topics covered

Theory of relativity, particle physics, nuclear physics, astrophysics and medical imaging.


After completing your master's degree in 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, for example, in the information technology sector.

Graduate interview