Skip to main content
Till KTH:s startsida Till KTH:s startsida

SK2551 X-ray physics and applications 7.5 credits

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.

Choose semester and course offering

Choose semester and course offering to see current information and more about the course, such as course syllabus, study period, and application information.


For course offering

Spring 2025 Start 14 Jan 2025 programme students

Application code


Headings with content from the Course syllabus SK2551 (Autumn 2022–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Basic knowledge of X-rays: X-ray interaction with matter, X-ray sources (including synchrotron radiation and free electron lasers), X-ray optics, X-ray detectors, X-ray coherence.

X-ray applications: X-ray microscopy, X-ray diffraction, medical imaging, X-ray fluorescence and absorption spectroscopy, coherent diffraction imaging.

Intended learning outcomes

After passing the course, the student should be able to:

  • calculate X-ray scattering properties for different materials
  • explain different X-ray sources, X-ray optics and X-ray detectors
  • perform a basic experiment with X-rays
  • evaluate and justify analysis methods that use X-rays

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Completed degree project at the undergraduate level in technical physics or medical technology.

English B / English 6

Recommended prerequisites

No information inserted


No information inserted


No information inserted

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


  • HEM1 - Home assigments, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • LAB1 - Laboratory work, 1.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • SEM1 - Seminars, 3.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Oral exam, 2.0 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.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

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 room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

Offered by

Main field of study

Engineering Physics

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Ulrich Vogt