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SK180N Introductory Modern Physics 9.0 credits

This e-course covers the theory of relativity, early and modern quantum mechanics, atomic, molecular, laser, solid state, nuclear, particle, astrophysics, and cosmology. The course ends with some of the latest on Nobel Prize in Physics.

Choose semester and course offering

Choose semester and course offering to see information from the correct course syllabus and course offering.

Headings with content from the Course syllabus SK180N (Autumn 2018–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Waves and Photons. Electrons and material waves. Quantum mechanics. Heisenberg uncertainty relation. Schrödinger equation. Pauli principle and the Periodical system. Tunnelling microscope. Hydrogen atom. Electronic spin. Atomic structure. Magnetic resonance with applications. X-rays and elemental analysis. Laser radiation. Conductors, semi-conductors and isolators, p-n transitions. The fotodiode and LED. Nuclear structure and binding energy. Nuclear decay. Nuclear energy. Fission and fusion. Elementary particles and the forces between them. The latest Nobel Price.

Intended learning outcomes

The course will provide basic knowledge about the rules and laws that governs micro cosmos, i.e. about electrons, atoms, nuclei, and their interaction with electromagnetic radiation. The course will also show how these rules and laws can be used within technology and medicine.

The student will after the course know how to:

  • solve problems about the hydrogen atom concerning energies and wavelengths between obtained between energy levels
  • explain and perform calculations on the Photoelectric effect and the Compton effect
  • discuss quantum mechanical problems dealing with the Heisenberg uncertainty principle
  • perform calculations on frequency conditions, mode structure of a laser and the laser medium
  • perform simpler calculations with the Schrödinger equation
  • do estimates of the Fermi function regarding energies in solids and explain the band model
  • explain the phenomenon of nuclear decay and to perform calculations on half lifes
  • explain and perform calculations on the Einstein’s energy relations and how to calculate fusion and fission energy production
  • discuss the build-up of the elementary particles.

Course disposition

Internetcourse examined over the Internet

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

  • Completed upper secondary education including documented proficiency in Swedish corresponding to Swedish 3/Swedish B  and English corresponding to English 6/English A . Specific requirements: knowledge of Mathematics corresponding to Mathematics 3C/D and Physics corresponding to Physics 2/B is required.

Recommended prerequisites

Mathematical knowledge corresponding to basic courses in algebra and analysis (derivates, integrals and differential equations)


No information inserted


"University Physics" by Young and Freedman, tillgänglig som e-bok via KTH Bibliotek.

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, 3.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • TEN2 - Examination, 3.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • TEN3 - Examination, 3.0 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.

Exams on the internet

Other requirements for final grade

Three written examinations.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

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 SK180N

Offered by

Main field of study

Physics, Technology

Education cycle

First cycle

Add-on studies

SK184N Environmental Physics


Vladislav Korenivski (

Supplementary information

Internet course. Can be studied any time.