Skip to main content
Till KTH:s startsida Till KTH:s startsida

SH1012 Modern Physics 8.0 credits

About course offering

For course offering

Spring 2025 Start 14 Jan 2025 programme students

Target group

No information inserted

Part of programme

Degree Programme in Electrical Engineering, åk 2, Conditionally Elective

Degree Programme in Electrical Engineering, åk 3, Conditionally Elective

Degree Programme in Materials Design and Engineering, åk 3, NEE, Mandatory

Degree Programme in Mechanical Engineering, åk 3, NEE, Mandatory


P3 (2.0 hp), P4 (6.0 hp)


14 Jan 2025
2 Jun 2025

Pace of study


Form of study

Normal Daytime

Language of instruction


Course location


Number of places

Places are not limited

Planned modular schedule


For course offering

Spring 2025 Start 14 Jan 2025 programme students

Application code



For course offering

Spring 2025 Start 14 Jan 2025 programme students


Ayse Nyberg (


No information inserted

Course coordinator

No information inserted


No information inserted
Headings with content from the Course syllabus SH1012 (Spring 2022–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The experimental foundations of modern physics: Elementary relativity theory. The Michelson-Morely experiment. Einstein's theory of special relativity. Length contraction. Time dialation. Elementary quantum physics. Planck's radiation law. X-ray radiation and spectra. Rutherford's atomic model. Atomic structure. Bohr's atomic model. Atomic energy levels. Nuclear structure. Radioactive decay. Matter waves. Wave packets and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Wave-particle duality.

Quantum mechanics: the foundations of quantum mechanics. Introduction to operators. The Schrödinger equation applied to simple potentials. Interpretation of wave functions. Plane wave solutions. The harmonic oscillator. Angular momentum and spin. The hydrogen atom and the periodic table. The Pauli principle.

Applications to physical phenomena: (including) the photoelectric effect, the Compton effect, X-ray diffraction, particle diffraction, the Stark effect, the Zeeman effect. Applications within science and technology (including) tunneling, the tunneling electron microscope, the Stern-Gerlach experiment, the atomic nucleus, the helium atom, simple molecules. The building blocks of matter: particles and their interactions.

Intended learning outcomes

After completing this course a student should be able to:

  • Explain the scientific basis of modern physics, as defined by the course syllabus.  
  • Set up and perform relativistic calculations for simple cases and quantum mechanical calculations on simple systems
  • Apply quantum mechanical principles to scientific and technical applications
  • Report on practical experience concerning experimental methods within modern physics
  • Complete a simple research project with a modern physics focus as part of a small group

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Completed course SK1108 or equivalent.

Recommended prerequisites

Courses in physics (or equivalent): SI1121/SK1119, SK1108, ED1110, and SI1200; courses in mathematics (or equivalent): SF1624, SF1625, SF1626, and  SF1920.


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


  • LAB1 - Laboratories, 1.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • PRO1 - Project, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 5.5 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.

Written examination (5.5 hp)

Laboratory exercises with written reports (1 hp)

Project work (1.5 hp)

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination



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


Education cycle

First cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Ayse Nyberg (