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FSK3515 Optimizing Light Microscopy 4.0 credits

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus FSK3515 (Autumn 2018–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The following elements are highlighted via seminars and exercises: Köhler illumination, conjugate plane, condenser, diffraction-limited resolution, aberrations, contrast through oblique illumination, phase contrast, Hoffman contrast, polarization microscopy, Nomarski / DIC, fluorescence and confocal microscopy.

Intended learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to give the students a deeper understanding of the optical principles behind different contrast-enhancing techniques used in modern research microscopes. The course will provide the students with practical skills enabling them to use microscopes for different studies and to make informed choices of appropriate contrast technologies based on the properties of the samples under investigation and the available functionalities of the microscope available.

Course disposition

10 seminars, accompanied by microscope laboratory classes. With the laboratory exercises the students  practice and get hands-on experience on the techniques taught in the lecture classes.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

The student should have been accepted as a PhD student

Recommended prerequisites

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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



  • LAB1 - Laboratory work, 4.0 credits, grading scale: P, 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.

LAB1) laboratory tasks, 4.0 credits, grading scale: P/F

Other requirements for final grade

The examination consists of a practical knowlegde-test using the microscope.

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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Profile picture Hjalmar Brismar

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 FSK3515

Offered by

SCI/Applied Physics

Main field of study

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Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

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Hjalmar Brismar

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at SCI/Applied Physics