Skip to main content

ED2235 Atomic Physics for Fusion 6.0 credits

The research and development of controlled fusion involves knowledge and methods from many different branches of physics, such as electromagnetism, plasma physics, nuclear physics, atomic physics, surface physics and materials physics.

The purpose of this course is to make the student familiar with those aspects of atomic physics that are most important in fusion research. The focus of the course is on basic understanding of atomic collisions and applications in plasma modeling, plasma diagnostics and plasma surface interactions. Much of the course content is applicable also in other contexts in plasma processing and technology, ion implantation and radiation effects.

Choose semester and course offering

Choose semester and course offering to see information from the correct course syllabus and course offering.

Headings with content from the Course syllabus ED2235 (Autumn 2021–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

  • Short overview of quantum mechanics and atomic structure. 
  • Atomic collisions, cross-sections, rate coefficients. 
  • Elastic collisions, classical and wave mechanical. 
  • The Born approximation. 
  • Interatomic potentials. 
  • The Thomas-Fermi model. 
  • A universal interatomic potential. 
  • Plasma resistivity. 
  • Stopping cross-sections, sputtering and backscattering at surfaces. 
  • Inelastic collisions with classical and semiclassical model. 
  • Ionisation, recombination, charge exchange, and Bremsstrahlung. 
  • Effective Z, radiation losses, equilibria, transport and energy confinement time. 
  • Use of data for atomic processes in models that treat fusion plasma physics problems. 

Intended learning outcomes

After passing the course, the student should be able to

  • explain physics for atomic collisions regarding dominating mechanisms in processes as elastic scattering, ionisation, excitation and charge exchange, and give an account of atomic structure and equilibria in plasma at a general level
  • make intuitive assessments of relevant magnitudes time scales, energy dependencies etc in fusion relevant atomic processes
  • see and give an account of the role of atomic collisions in fusion plasma physics and plasma surface interactions
  • use databases and semiempirical formulae for atomic physics data, such as cross-sections and rate coefficients and for derived units as stopping cross-sections and sputtering yield
  • use atomic physics data in numerical modelling of plasma phenomena.

Course disposition

No information inserted

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Completed courses in

  • basic mechanics equivalent SK1108/SG1112
  • electromagnetic field theory equivalent EI1220/EI1320
  • introduction to modern physics equivalent SH2008

or that the entry requirements for the Master's programme (two-year) in electromagnetism, fusion and space technology or nuclear energy engineering are satisfied.

Active participation in a course offering where the final examination is not yet reported in Ladok is considered equivalent to completion of the course.

Registering for a course is counted as active participation.

The term 'final examination' encompasses both the regular examination and the first re-examination.

Recommended prerequisites

Required background: Basic mechanics and electromagnetic theory, introductory modern physics (SH2008 or equivalent).


No information inserted


No information inserted

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • ANN1 - Assignments - Individual, 1.5 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • ANN2 - Assignments - Group, 1.5 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 3.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


Profile picture Henrik Bergsåker

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web ED2235

Offered by

EECS/Electrical Engineering

Main field of study

Electrical Engineering, Engineering Physics, Physics

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Henric Bergsåker

Supplementary information

In this course, the EECS code of honor applies, see: