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SH2204 Astroparticle Physics 7.5 credits

The fields of particle physics, astronomy/astrophysics and cosmology are combined to allow an understanding of the physical processes at work in the Universe. During the course, particular emphasis will be laid on the experimental aspects of astroparticle physics through a survey of current results and the experiments used to produce them. Astroparticle physics is an extremely dynamic field with regular new and  discoveries - this will also be reflected in the topics covered during the course.

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus SH2204 (Spring 2022–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The course gives a solid foundation in Astroparticle Physics, with a particular focus on the
experimental aspects.

  • Overview of the concepts of particle physics
  • Cosmology: Big Bang, cosmic microwave background, content and dynamics of the Universe
  • Cosmic rays: galactic, production and acceleration, detection
  • Neutrino astrophysics: stellar neutrinos, high energy neutrinos, atmospheric, detection
  • Dark matter: dark matter candidates, experiments
  • Nucleosynthesis in the Big Bang and in supernovae
  • Detection techniques: Cosmic rays, high-energy photons, polarization, benefits of
    multimessenger approach
  • Outlook and connection to other research fields

Intended learning outcomes

After completing this course, students should be able to:

  • Classify the fundamental subatomic particles by their possible interactions.
  • Explain how ‘particle probes’ can open a new window on the universe compared to
    observations using electromagnetic radiation.
  • Explain how particles can be detected and their properties determined, and appreciate the
    limitations of different detection techniques.
  • Identify the astrophysical observations which motivate the key features of the current
    cosmological models.
  • Calculate parameters for the expansion of the universe in radiation- and matter-dominated
    epochs and compare this with observational data
  • Describe results that give evidence for the existence of dark matter, and hypothesize over the
    possible particle candidates for dark matter in the universe.
  • Experimentally confirm the existence of dark matter through radio telescope observations
  • Perform dimensional analysis to define relationships between physical variables in astrophysical
  • Interpret data from figures published in the scientific literature and use this to perform calculations and develop conclusions.
  • Reflect on the current ‘open questions’ in astroparticle physics and the experiments planned to address these issues.

Course disposition

No information inserted

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Subatomic physics (SH2103), or equivalent.

English B / English 6

Recommended prerequisites

SH2103 subatomic physics, 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


  • INL1 - Home Assignments, 5.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • LAB1 - Laboratory, 1.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • PRO1 - Seminar, 1.5 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.

Home assignments (5 hp)

Seminar (1.5 hp)

Laboratory (1 hp)

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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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 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 SH2204

Offered by

Main field of study


Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Josefin Larsson (