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FSK3800 Laser Spectroscopy 8.0 credits

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus FSK3800 (Autumn 2018–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The course starts with a short introduction to the laser and its physical properties. We then discuss light-matter interaction using a quantum mechanical description, starting from the basics of atoms and molecules. We study a number of modern spectroscopic techniques and their use in biological and chemical physics, medicine, and environmental science. Focus is on practical examples from society and advanced techniques used in the research laboratory. The course includes laborations where we apply the measurement techniques and the data analysis studied. 

The main topics of the course are: Structure and dynamics of molecules. The construction and function of lasers. Interaction between light and matter. Laser types: narrow band and tunable, continuous wave and pulsed lasers, ultra-fast lasers and their physics. Laser applications in molecular physics and chemical physics: high resolution spectroscopy, short lived molecules (free radicals and ions), laser induced breakdwn spectroscopy (LIBS) femtosecond chemistry and spectroscopy, the use of the laser in medicine and for diagnostic purposes.

Intended learning outcomes

After the course, the student should:

  • have knowledge about the quantum physical description of atoms and molecules and be able to relate these to their spectral properties.
  • be able to explain and describe the transitions between different electronic states and do quantum mechanical calculations on the same. 
  • be able to solve technical problems related to the frequency condition and the modal structure of lasers, and be able to read and evaluate the energy level diagram for lasers.
  • be able to describe the common spectroscopic methods.
  • have practical experience of experimental laser and spectroscopic measurement techniques and instrumentation. 
  • be able to use advanced spectrometers within the field of laser induced fluorescence, laser Raman spectroscopy, and to analyse fluorescence spectra.
  • have searched the scientific literature and acquired knowledge about a contemporary spectroscopic method and presented the findings in a short seminar for the class.

Course disposition

No information inserted

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Admitted as a PhD student.

Modern Physics, or Molecular Structure for K2 and BIO2, or Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy for K4.

Recommended prerequisites

No information inserted


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Laser Chemistry: Spectroscopy, Dynamics & Applications
Helmut H. Telle, Angel González Ureña, Robert J. Donovan, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
ISBN: 978-0-471-48571-1 2007

Utdelat material.

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, 2.0 credits, grading scale: G
  • TEN1 - Exam, 6.0 credits, grading scale: G

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 Work, 2.0 credits, grade scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 6.0 credits, grade scale: P/F

Other requirements for final grade

One written exam (TEN1; 6 university credits). To get the final mark the laboratory experiments have to be completed and approved (LAB1; 2 university credits).

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Profile picture Fredrik Laurell

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 FSK3800

Offered by

SCI/Applied Physics

Main field of study

No information inserted

Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

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Fredrik Laurell (

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at SCI/Applied Physics