Synchrotron- and Neutron Based Experimental Methods and Applications

Course - second cycle - 15 credits

Syllabus for students spring 2022, spring 2021

Course Code:
MT642A revision 2
Swedish name:
Synkrotronljus- och neutronspridningsbaserade mätmetoder och tillämpningar
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
Materials Science
Date of ratification:
12 June 2020
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Technology and Society
Enforcement date:
18 January 2021
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
21 November 2019

Entry requirements

1. Degree in natural science/technology or a degree of engineering or a degree in a related field. All degrees must be equivalent to at least 180 higher education credits.
2. The equivalent of English B in Swedish secondary school or equivalent

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

The course is part of the main field of study Materials Science and meets the degree requirement for the degree of Master (Two Years), main field of study Materials Science.


The course objective is for the student to develop an understanding of the theories for — as well as application, analysis and modelling of — experimental resources for synchrotron light and neutron radiation designs.


The course focuses on experimental methods and techniques available with synchrotron light and neutron radiation designs (such as ESS and MAX4) and is divided into three parts:

Part I: Theory (3 credits)
• Synchrotron light versus neutron radiation (production and physics)
• Scattering (elastic, inelastic)
• Diffraction: Bragg’s Law, de Broglie, Form factors, Atom factors
• Spectroscopy: Beer-Lambert Law
• Experiment modelling

Part II: Experimental methods and applications (7 credits)
• Diffraction-based techniques
• Spectroscopy-based methods
• Reflectance-based methods
• Imaging (Tomography)
• Modern research applications

Part III: Project (5 credits)
• Analysis of various datasets using relevant methods and software
• Written reports and oral presentations of project

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
Once the course is completed, the student shall:
• demonstrate the ability to summarise and explain simple physicalconcepts related to synchrotron light and neutron radiation;
• demonstrate the ability to summarise the theory related to normal experimental methods that apply synchrotron light or neutron radiation;
• be able to describe experimental methods and measurement techniques available with synchrotron light and neutron radiation;
• demonstrate the ability to identify appropriate methods and techniques for studying biological, chemical and physical properties of materials; and
• demonstrate an understanding of how models and modelling are required, and supplement experiments performed for synchrotron light/neutron radiation designs.

Skills and abilities
Once the course is completed, the student shall:
• demonstrate the ability to orally present the contents of scientific articles based on experiments using synchrotron light (SL) or neutron radiation (NR);
• demonstrate the ability, using available software, to analyse data from the most common experimental methods for SL/NR designs; and
• demonstrate the ability to produce reasonable margins of error for experiment and analysis.

Judgement and approach
Once the course is completed, the student shall:
• demonstrate the ability to compare the advantages and disadvantages of synchrotron light versus neutron radiation, and compare these with other conventional methods; and
• demonstrate the ability to critically investigate their own and others’ results of experiments performed on SL/NR designs.

Learning activities

The course is comprised of lectures, exercises, projects and independent study.


Requirements for pass (grade A-E): Passed exam part 1 (3 credits), passed exam part 2 (7 credits) and passed reports and presentations (5 credits).
The final grade is based on the exams which are weighted.

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

  • Als-Nielsen, Jens & McMorrow, Des (2011). Elements of modern X-ray physics. 2. ed. Chichester: Wiley (available for free via the University library)
  • Other books in the topic available via the University library
  • Review articles available at the University
  • Compendia available at the University

Course evaluation

The University provides students who are taking or have completed a course with the opportunity to share their experiences of and opinions about the course in the form of a course evaluation that is arranged by the University. The University compiles the course evaluations and notifies the results and any decisions regarding actions brought about by the course evaluations. The results shall be kept available for the students. (HF 1:14).

Interim rules

When a course is no longer given, or the contents have been radically changed, the student has the right to re-take the examination, which will be given twice during a one year period, according to the syllabus which was valid at the time of registration.

Other Information

The syllabus is a translation of a Swedish source text.