Course syllabus

Atom- och kärnfysik med tillämpningar
Atomic and Nuclear Physics with Applications

FAFF10, 15 credits, G2 (First Cycle)

Valid for: 2021/22
Faculty: Faculty of Engineering, LTH
Decided by: PLED N
Date of Decision: 2021-04-19

General Information

Main field: Technology.
Compulsory for: F3
Language of instruction: The course will be given in Swedish


The course is an important part of a larger course package in physics. Based on quantum mechanics, it gives the basis of fundamental atomic and nuclear physics, as well as technical applications, e.g., laser technology and environmental measurement techniques. It gives a broad orientation about microcosm, while at the same time including detailed studies of selected topics. The aim of this is to simultaneously practice quantum mechanical problem solving, and to stimulate the interest for further studies in the subject. By highlighting important technical applications the course aims at illustrating the mutual dependence between technology and basic science.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
For a passing grade the student must

Competences and skills
For a passing grade the student must


Quantum mechanical formalism extended from earlier courses in physics. The harmonic oscillator. Spherical symmetry and angular momentum. Hydrogenlike atoms. Approximation methods. Calculations on problems in atomic- and nuclear physics.

Size and mass of atoms. Models for atoms. Electron spin and space quantisation. Atoms in external magnetic fields. Addition of angular momenta, configuration, term, level and sublevel. Many-electron atoms and the central field approximation. The periodic table. Spontaneous emission and selection rules. Stimulated emission and lasers action. Spectroscopic methods.

Size, structure and mass of the atomic nucleus. Nuclear models. Strong and weak interaction. Radioactive decay, emission of alpha, beta and gamma radiation. Nuclear collisions. Neutron physics and spallation sources. Fission and fusion. Interaction between radiation and matter. Biological effects and radiation protection. Nuclear measurement instrumentation. Reactor physics, medical applications, radioactivity in the surroundings.

Examination details

Grading scale: TH - (U,3,4,5) - (Fail, Three, Four, Five)
Assessment: Written exam, passed laboratory work and corresponding written reports. Passed oral presentation of project.

The examiner, in consultation with Disability Support Services, may deviate from the regular form of examination in order to provide a permanently disabled student with a form of examination equivalent to that of a student without a disability.

Code: 0116. Name: Laboratory Work.
Credits: 3,5. Grading scale: UG. Assessment: Approved written laboratory report after each laboratory exercise. Contents: Experimental work as laboratory exercises in small groups. Preparation before and reporting after each exercise is mandatory.
Code: 0216. Name: Project.
Credits: 1,5. Grading scale: UG. Assessment: Oral presentation (20 minutes) in front of audience, describing the project selected. Normally two students present jointly one project. Contents: Deeper studies related to an application within atomic or nuclear physics. Can be either experimental or theoretical studies.
Code: 0316. Name: Quantum Formalism.
Credits: 3. Grading scale: TH. Assessment: Written examination.
Code: 0416. Name: Nuclear Physics.
Credits: 2,5. Grading scale: TH. Assessment: Written examination.
Code: 0516. Name: Atomic Physics.
Credits: 4,5. Grading scale: TH. Assessment: Written examination.


Assumed prior knowledge: FMAN55 Applied Mathematics, FAFA55 Concepts in Quantum Physics.
The number of participants is limited to: No
The course overlaps following course/s: FAF270, FMFF15

Reading list

Contact and other information

Course coordinator: Per Eng-Johnsson,
Course homepage:
Further information: The course is given by a team, lead by Per Eng-Johnsson. Lectures and exercises in quantum mechanics, nuclear and atomic physics are sandwiched during the course. It is mandatory to attend the first lecture in order to be admitted to the course. Parts of the course, e.g. the laboratory exercises, might be taught in English.