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SK2520 Experimental Methods in Molecular Biophysics 8.0 credits

The course is from autumn semster 2021 replaced by the course sk2533 "Experimental Biophysics", with essentially the same content: It gives an introduction to biomolecules, their structures, dynamics and interactions, and how experimental biophysical techniques can be used to investigate biomolecular properties. The course also gives an overview of how these techniques are used in practice within biotechnology, drug development, and academic research.

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus SK2520 (Autumn 2020–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Basic properties and structure of biomolecules. Basic thermodynamicsabout biomolecules, their dynamics and interactions. Interaction between biomolecules and electromagnetic radiation. The principles of the most important methods in experimental molecular biophysics, how they can be used to obtain information on various biomolecular characteristics and interactions, as well as their relative strengths and weaknesses. E.g. IR, fluorescence, nuclear spin resonance, electron spin resonance, circular dichroism, and Raman spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, surface plasmon resonance, atomic force microscopy, calorimetry. Overview of current development trends of these methods, as well as applications of them in academic research, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, and within healthcare.

Intended learning outcomes

After completing the course the student should be able to:

  • explain the principles of the most important methods used in experimental molecular biophysics.
  • compare strengths and weaknesses between these methods, and analyze and identify which methods are best suited for studying different biomolecular properties or interactions, at the molecular, cellular, tissue or organism level.
  • explain and be able to evaluate the application potential of current development trends of these methods.

Course disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Achieved BSc on any of the programs CMATD, CDATE, CELTE, CTFYS, CMAST, CFATE, or approved courses in mathematics and physics, corresponding to at least the courses in these subjects given on the above programs in the first three years.

Recommended previous knowledge:          
Fundamental knowledge in quantum mechanics and optics advantageous, but not absolutely required.

Recommended prerequisites

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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


  • LAB1 - Laboratory Work, 2.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • PRO1 - Project, 1.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 5.0 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.

One written examination (TEN1, 5hp, grades A-F), one oral project presentation (PRO1; 1hp, grades P/F), laborations, exercises and study visit (LAB1; 2hp, grades P/F)

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Profile picture Jerker Widengren

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 SK2520

Offered by

SCI/Applied undergraduate Physics

Main field of study

Biotechnology, Engineering Physics, Physics

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

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Jerker Widengren (