Syllabus for Free Electron Laser Science

Frielektronlaser - vetenskap och teknik


  • 10 credits
  • Course code: 1FA581
  • 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: 2011-03-10
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2018-08-30
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 30, 2019
  • Entry requirements: 120 credits in science/engineering. Electromagnetic Field Theory and Synchrotron Radiation are recommended.
  • Responsible department: Department of Physics and Astronomy

Learning outcomes

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

  • summarise and explain the basic physics of a free electron laser (FEL).
  • describe the performance and properties of free electron lasers and the generated radiation.
  • describe and illustrate by examples methods to improve the performance of free electron lasers.
  • compare FEL laboratories around the world and the type of research driven at these facilities.
  • describe applications of free electron lasers in various fields, ranging from atomic and molecular physics, plasma physics and structural biology.
  • demonstrate problem-solving ability both orally and in written form.
  • present and discuss individual project results, orally and in writing.


FEL physics: undulator radiation; theory of beam-wave interaction in FELs; optical beams and guided modes; X-ray optics; FEL oscillators and high-gain FELs; SASE FEL and methods of improving coherence of FELs; photon diagnostics.

FEL applications: long wavelength FELs; X-ray FELs; atomic and molecular physics applications; high energy density science; X-ray diffraction; biology applications; ultrafast X-ray science.


Lectures, problem-solving sessions, literature study, combined with seminars where students present research articles to each other.


Hand-in assignments and problem solving at seminars (5 credits), written reports and oral presentation of individual projects (5 credits). 
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

  • Lindblad, Andreas Free Electron Laser (FEL) Technology

    Institutionen för fysik och astronomi, Uppsala universitet och MAX-laboratoriet, Lund,