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SH2500 Atomic and Molecular Physics 6.0 credits

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
Headings with content from the Course syllabus SH2500 (Autumn 2009–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The atom, the nucleus, the electron and the photon - four necessary steps for the development of quantum physics. The structure of the atom. Atoms in electric and magnetic fields. Fine and hyperfine structure. X-ray spectroscopy. Molecular structure. Rotation-, vibration- and electronic spectra. Chemical bonds. Optical spectroscopy. Laser cooling. Bose-Einstein condensation. Intangled quantum states. The laser principle. Atomic lasers.

Intended learning outcomes

After completed course the student should be able to:

  • Describe in oral and written form the observations in atomic- and molecular physics which led to the modern quantum physics
  • Motivate the necessity of using quantum mechanics calculations for describing atomic and molecular processes
  • Explain how signatures of the quantum physics are seen in atomic- and molecular physics experiments
  • Carry out numerical calculations of simpler processer for free atoms and molecules and their interactions with electric and magnetic fields
  • Describe, in oral and written form, and analyze example of experiments which could answer a given scientific question within the basic atomic and molecular physics

Course disposition

No information inserted

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Recommended prerequisites: SH1009 Modern Physics.

Recommended prerequisites

No information inserted


No information inserted


H. Haken och H.C. Wolf: The Physics of Atoms and Quanta, Springer Verlag 2000

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


  • TEN1 - Examination, 4.5 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • ÖVN1 - Exercise, 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.

Other requirements for final grade

Active participation at the lectures. One presentation of a part of the course (OVN1; 1,5 university credits). One written examination (TENA; 4,5 university credits).

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


Profile picture Torbjörn Bäck

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 SH2500

Offered by

SCI/Undergraduate Physics

Main field of study

No information inserted

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

SH2501, SH2502.


Elisabeth Rachlew,