Synchrotron Radiation

10 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 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)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 30 August 2018
Responsible department
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Entry requirements

120 credits with Electromagnetism II, Waves and Optics, Quantum Physics and Mechanics III (special theory of relativity) or the equivalent. A course in electromagnetic field theory is recommended.

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.