Atomic Physics

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

Objectives:To give a broad knowledge of the most important characteristics of atoms and molecules and their 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. A central topic in the course is the theory of interaction between atoms (molecules) and the electromagnetic field. Cursorial, a range of phenomena will be discussed based on the students background and interests. Examples are collisions, stopping power, tunneling and the Auger effect.

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 Schrödinger 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, emission and absorption of radiation.

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 atomic processes are responsable for phenomena aound us and their applications in technology.
  • provide practical examples related to atoms and radiation, such as colors, the photosynthesis, grreenhouse effect and radiating technologies such as mobile phones.

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

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 01.07 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