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48171-01 - Block course: Introducing photons, neutrons and muons for condensed matter physics and materials science 2 CP

Semester spring semester 2021
Course frequency Every spring sem.
Lecturers Michel Kenzelmann (
Frithjof Nolting (, Assessor)
Content The course runs for one week in June (21th to 25th). It takes place at the campus of the Paul Scherrer Institute. The morning consists of introductory lectures on the use of photons, neutrons and muons for materials characterization. The afternoon consists of work groups with active participation of the students including visiting the experiments at three large scale facilities. The afternoon group work deepens the concepts learned in the morning.

The aim of the course is that the students acquire a basic understanding on the interaction of photons, neutrons and muons with matter and how one can use these as tools to solve specific problems. The students will also visit different experiments in the large scale facilities of PSI (Swiss Light Source, Swiss Spallation Neutron Source, Swiss Muon Source).
Learning objectives Interaction of photons, neutrons and muons with matter
Production of photons, neutrons and muons
Experimental setups: optics and detectors
Crystal symmetry, Bragg’s law, reciprocal lattice, structure factors
Elastic and inelastic scattering with neutrons and photons
X-ray absorption spectroscopy, x-ray magnetic circular dichroism
Polarized neutron scattering for the study of magnetic materials
Imaging techniques using x-rays and neutrons
Introduction to muon spin rotation
Applications of muon spin rotation
Bibliography Philip Willmott: An Introduction to Synchrotron Radiation: Techniques and Applications, Wiley, 2011
J. Als-Nielsen and D. McMorrow: Elements of Modern X-Ray Physics, Wiley, 2011.
G.L. Squires, Introduction to the Theory of Thermal Neutron Scattering, Dover Publications (1997).
Muon Spin Rotation, Relaxation, and Resonance, Applications to Condensed Matter"
Alain Yaouanc and Pierre Dalmas de Réotier, Oxford University Press, ISBN: 9780199596478
“Physics with Muons: from Atomic Physics to Condensed Matter Physics”, A. Amato


Admission requirements Students at master level who have attended courses on condensed matter or materials physics.
Course application Registration at the PSI website required by March 15th 2021 (
Note the Blockkurs is after the Semester and goes from 21. - 25. June 2021.
Language of instruction English
Use of digital media No specific media used
Course auditors welcome


Interval Block
Date 21.06.2021 – 25.06.2021
Time See details

No dates available. Please contact the lecturer.

Modules Module Specialisation: Physics (Master's Studies: Nanosciences)
Module: Specialisation (Master's Studies: Physics)
Assessment format continuous assessment
Assessment details Oral examination
Assessment registration/deregistration Reg./dereg.: course registr./cancel registr. via MOnA
Repeat examination no repeat examination
Scale Pass / Fail
Repeated registration as often as necessary
Responsible faculty Faculty of Science,
Offered by Departement Physik