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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.

About course offering

For course offering

Autumn 2024 Start 28 Oct 2024 programme students

Target group

Open for all programmes, as long as it can be included in your programme.

Part of programme

Master's Programme, Electromagnetics, Fusion and Space Engineering, åk 2, PLA, Conditionally Elective

Master's Programme, Energy Innovation, åk 2, RENE, Recommended


P2 (6.0 hp)


28 Oct 2024
13 Jan 2025

Pace of study


Form of study

Normal Daytime

Language of instruction


Course location

KTH Campus

Number of places

Places are not limited

Planned modular schedule


For course offering

Autumn 2024 Start 28 Oct 2024 programme students

Application code



For course offering

Autumn 2024 Start 28 Oct 2024 programme students


Henric Bergsåker


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Course coordinator

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus ED2235 (Autumn 2024–) 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.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

  • Knowledge in basic mechanics, 6 credits, corresponding to completed course SK1108/SG1112.
  • Knowledge in electromagnetic field theory, 9 credits, corresponding to completed course EI1220/EI1320.
  • Knowledge in introduction to modern physics, 6 credits, corresponding to completed course SH2008.

Anyone who meets the special entry requirements for the Master's programme in Electromagnetics, Fusion and Space Engineering is considered to meet the above requirements.

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).


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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 - Written exam, 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

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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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 room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

Offered by

Main field of study

Electrical Engineering, Engineering Physics, Physics

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

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Henric Bergsåker

Supplementary information

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