Student Pages
Postgraduate course

Atomic Physics

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterAutumn
  • Course codePHYS261
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

Main content

ECTS Credits


Teaching semester


Objectives and Content

Objectives:To give a broad knowledge of the most important characteristics of atoms, molecules and the interaction with electromagnetic fields

Content:The course describes the basic properties of atoms from non-relativistic to relativistic theory and from one- and two-electron systems to the buildup of the periodic system. Additionally it covers the theory and properties of simple molecules like H2, H2O og CO2. In the course time-independent and time-dependent scattering will be discussed, including a range of basic processes such as photoelectric effect, Auger-effect and tunnelig. The description of interaction between atoms and the electromagnetic field, (weak and strong) is given a particular attention.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student has knowledge about:

  • the structure and dynamics of atoms and simple molecules.
  • the interaction between atoms, molecules and electromagnetic fields.
  • collision processes involving atoms, charged particles and molecules.
  • the structure of the periodic system, many-electron and relativistic effects.


The student can:

  • apply physics and mathemathics to solve the Schr√∂dinger equation and the Dirac equation for hydrogen-like atoms.
  • explain the buildup of multi-electron atoms and simple molecules and their characteristics.
  • apply quantum mechanics to compute characteristic quantities related to atomic structure, fragmentation and radiation, analytically and based on numerical methods and programs.

General competence

The student can:

  • explain to the general public about the structure of basic matter and its response to radiation and impinging particles.
  • explain how the atom is the basic building block of all life and technology, for example nanotechnology.
  • apply physics to explain phenomena in gasses, such as the greenhouse effect.
  • give practical examples related to atoms and radiation, such as colors, the photosynthesis, and radiating technologies such as mobile phones.

Required Previous Knowledge

Minimum 60 ECTS in physics.

Recommended Previous Knowledge

Basic knowledge of minimum 20 ECTS in mathemathics.

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap


Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and exercises

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

50% of the exercises from the 8 work-sessions of the course needs to be approved.

Forms of Assessment

Oral exam.

Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.

Reading List

Relevant course material (book-chapters etc) will be made available in Canvas. The litterature list will be available before 01.06 for the autumn term.

Programme Committee

The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses. 

Course Administrator

Department of Physics and technology

Contact Information

Exam information