SK2550 X-ray Physics and Applications 6.0 credits

Röntgenfysik och tillämpningar

Since their discovery in 1895, x-rays have become an invaluable tool for probing the structure of matter, and the use of x-ray radiation in science and industry is still growing. The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of materials and methods in modern x-ray physics. Important issues are x-ray optical properties of different materials, x-ray optics and detectors, present and future x-ray sources and x-ray analytical methods.

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Offering and execution

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Course information

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents *

Part 1: X-ray basics

X-ray interaction with matter, X-ray sources, X-ray optics, X-ray detectors

Part 2: Application examples and special topics

To be chosen by the course participants (see website)

Intended learning outcomes *

After the course you should be able to:

  • describe the x-ray optical properties of materials for different x-ray energies on the basis of the general laws of x-ray radiation interaction with matter
  • explain different possibilities to generate x-ray radiation
  • explain the working principle of different x-ray optics on the basis of their material x-ray optical properties
  • apply the knowledge on x-ray sources and optics to explain experimental arrangements in the field of modern x-ray physics
  • apply the knowledge on x-ray interaction with matter to explain different types of analytical methods that use x-ray radiation as a probe
  • give an oral presentation about a scientific topic and explain the physical background in a small discussion.

Course Disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites *

Recommended prerequisites: The course is designed for final year students (F4), Master and PhD-students. Knowledge of the physics of electromagnetic radiation corresponding to SK1120 (Waves, 6 hp) and in basic mathematics (vector analysis, integrals, differential equations) is a prerequisite. Moreover, knowledge in optics corresponding to SK2300 (Optical Physics, 6 hp) is of advantage.

Recommended prerequisites

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David Attwood, Soft X-ray and Extreme Ultraviolet Radiation, Cambridge University Press (the edition used will be announced on the course homepage at least four weeks prior to start of the course).

Examination and completion

Grading scale *

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Examination *

  • INLA - Home Assignment, 3.0 credits, Grading scale: P, F
  • REDA - 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.

Other requirements for final grade *

The course is examined by home assignments (INLA, 3 hp, grading P/F) and an oral presentation and examination (REDA, 3 hp, grading A-F). A successful oral presentation will lead to the lowest grade E, while this grade can be improved by a voluntary oral examination.

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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Ulrich Vogt

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 SK2550

Offered by

SCI/Applied undergraduate Physics

Main field of study *

Engineering Physics, Physics

Education cycle *

Second cycle

Add-on studies

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Ulrich Vogt (

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.