Environmental physics

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Course contents

  • Basic geophysics, the thermal and electrical properties of the planet, geomagnetism
  • Solar radiation on earth, solar spectrum, interaction between light and matter, UV light and ozone layers
  • Atmospheric physics, radiation balance, greenhouse effect, sea and carbon cycle, climate system
  • Heat engines, storage, pumps, cooling units, combustion, cars, electricity as energy carriers
  • Nuclear power, fission, fusion, fourth generation reactors, radiation and health, fuel cycle and safety
  • Renewable energy, solar cells, wind and water, biomass, artificial photosynthesis, bio-solar
  • Energy storage, solar-to-heat, solar-assisted chemistry, batteries, capacitors, pumped hydropower
  • Chemical, electromagnetic, acoustic and radiation pollution
  • Environmental monitoring, atomic and molecular spectroscopy, remote / satellite sensing
  • The context of society, energy resources, consumption, fresh water, anthropogenic climate change, human footprint, planetary boundaries, food alternatives, sustainable development, science and society

Intended learning outcomes

  • describe and reflect on various concepts and topics in environmental physics
  • solve practical problems related to environmental physics
  • analyze different approaches and models used in the field
  • evaluate arguments and views on various aspects of sustainable development


  • INL1 - Hand-in assignments, 3.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Oral exam, 4.5 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX,

Literature, language, contact

  • course follows "Environmental Physics, Sustainable Energy and Climate Change", by E. Boeker and R. van Grondelle, Wiley 2011 (3rd edition), available as e-text for free via KTHBib
  • textbook, extra study materials, lectures, and exams are in English
  • course admin, teacher communication - in English or Swedish


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