Energy Physics I

5 credits

Syllabus, Bachelor's level, 1FA404

Education cycle
First cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Physics G2F, Technology G2F
Grading system
Pass with distinction, Pass with credit, Pass, Fail
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 28 February 2023
Responsible department
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Entry requirements

60 credits in science/engineering with Thermodynamics/Technical Thermodynamics. Participation in Quantum Physics, Quantum Physics F, Solid State Physics F or Condensed Matter Physics.

Learning outcomes

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

  • describe different energy sources, especially those of importance for the Nordic energy supply,
  • describe the physical and technical principles for different types of energy conversion,
  • explain, use and evaluate energy systems based on a thermodynamic and physical context,
  • explain and assess technical preconditions for and consequences of different energy conversion systems as well their environmental impact,
  • take part in the public debate on energy supply, distribution of resources and climate.


Energy in Sweden. Different sources of energy: Spontaneous and controllable, exhaustible and renewable. Availability of energy sources, their global energy and exploitation limits. 

Physical and technical principles as well as environmental and sustainability aspects of energy conversion facilities such as wind power plants, hydro power plants, solar power plants, nuclear power plants and facilities and engines powered by fossil fuels. Different aspects of energy storage and transport. Fluid dynamics: Bernoulli's equation, Betz' law. Electromagnetism: Planck's law, black body radiation. Solid state physics: electronic structure of solids, basic semiconductor technology. Nuclear physics: different nuclear models, radioactive decay, fission, cross sections. Engineering thermodynamics: power cycles, Carnot cycle, steam cycles, gas cycles.


Lectures. Exercises. Problem based group work.

Study visits: Uppsala Värme AB (district heating), Forsmark (nuclear power station), Älvkarleby (hydro power plant) or similar.


Two study visits and project presentation (1 credit). Written (2 credits) and oral (2 credits) examination. Exercises can give bonus points valid for the final exam and the first regular repetition.

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.