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FSK3551 X-ray Physics and Applications 7.5 credits

Since their discovery in 1895, X-rays have become an invaluable tool for probing the structure of matter, and the use of X-ray radiation in science and industry is still growing. The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of materials and methods in modern X-ray physics. Important issues are X-ray optical properties of different materials, X-ray optics and detectors, present and future X­ray sources and X-ray analytical methods.

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Choose semester and course offering to see current information and more about the course, such as course syllabus, study period, and application information.

Headings with content from the Course syllabus FSK3551 (Spring 2023–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

X-ray basics: X-ray interaction with matter, X-ray sources (including synchrotron radiation and free electron lasers), X-ray optics, X-ray detectors, X-ray coherence X-ray applications: X-ray microscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray medical imaging, X-ray fluorescence and absorption spectroscopy, X-ray coherent diffraction imaging.

Intended learning outcomes

  • Calculate X-ray scattering properties of different materials
  • Explain different X-ray sources, X-ray optics and X-ray detectors
  • Conduct a basic X-ray experiment
  • Write a beamtime application for an advanced X-ray experiment
  • Evaluate an analytical method using X-rays

Course disposition

No information inserted

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Admitted to PhD studies in Physics, Biological Physics, or related fields of study.

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

P, F


  • HEM1 - Home assignments, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • LAB1 - Laboratory work, 1.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • SEM1 - Seminars, 3.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Oral exam, 2.0 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.

Other requirements for final grade

Successful completion of all homework problems, lab, beamtime application and the oral presentation. 

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 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 FSK3551

Offered by

Main field of study

This course does not belong to any Main field of study.

Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Ulrich Vogt (

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at SCI/Applied Physics