Syllabus for Synchrotron Radiation



  • 10 credits
  • Course code: 1FA555
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Physics A1F
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2007-03-15
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2018-08-30
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 30, 2019
  • Entry requirements: 120 credits with Electromagnetism II, Waves and Optics, Quantum Physics and Mechanics III (special theory of relativity) or equivalent. A course in electromagnetic field theory is recommended.
  • Responsible department: Department of Physics and Astronomy

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • make estimates and simple calculations of the x-ray properties from insertion devices for synchrotron radiation experiments.
  • describe different experimental methods and measurement techniques for electronic structure measurements and crystallography.


This course prepares for practical use of, and gives theoretical fundamental knowledge about modern synchrotron radiation sources and free-electron lasers. The properties of the x-ray radiation such as angular and energy distribution, brilliance, polarisation, time structure and coherence from so-called insertion devices in storage rings; undulators and wigglers and their fundamental properties are covered. Optical constants in absorption, reflection and transmission are estimated and calculated in connection with x-ray optical components (gratings and mirrors) in monochromators and beamlines. The basic physics of free-electron lasers are treated in connection with different applications of femto-second short x-ray pulses. Experimental methods for detecting photons and electrons as response to the x-ray radiation are discussed in connection to different research areas.

  • Radiation from accelerated electrons at relativistic energies: energy spectra, power distribution, angular dependence.
  • The construction of a synchrotron storage ring.
  • The properties of x-rays: emittance and brilliance, radiated power, time structure, polarisation. Undulators and wigglers. Optics for VUV and x-rays. Monochromators.
  • The function of free-electron lasers and their significance.
  • Applications of synchrotron radiation in physics, chemistry, biology, materials science and nanoscience.


Lectures. Practical work: Laboratory day and guest lectures at MAX-lab in Lund; Undulator spectrum and the polarisation dependence of synchrotron radiation.
When required, the course is given in English.


Written report and oral presentation of individual projects. 
If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 30, 2019

  • Attwood, David T. Soft X-rays and extreme ultraviolet radiation : principles and applications

    Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999

    Find in the library


  • Kompendium