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Atomic and Molecular Physics

This is an introductory course in atomic and molecular physics. This course introduces the quantum mechanical description of single and multi-electron atoms. Through fundamental studies of atoms, you will better understand the construction of the periodic table. The physical foundation underlying the formation of molecular bonds will also be studied.

In the course, you will apply theoretical methods such as time-independent perturbation theory and the variational principle to study atoms and molecules, and include effects such as fine structure, hyperfine structure, and the Zeeman effect. You will theoretically and experimentally investigate how atoms and molecules interact with light, and how the spectra of atoms and molecules are used to learn about the systems.

  • Course structure

    This is a first cycle course given during the daytime. The course is included in the bachelor programmes in physics and astronomy. It can also be studied as a separate course.

    Teaching format

    The education consists of lectures where theory reviews are combined with problem solving in groups. The problems studied in the course have an open character. Students undertake obligatory laboratory work, and these are reported orally.

    The course can be given in English.


    The course is examined through written exam and oral presentation of the laboratory work.


    Richard Thomas, phone: +468 5537 8784, e-mail:
    Åsa Larson, phone: 08 553 786 54 , e-mail:

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    • Astronomical Spectroscopy, An Introduction to the Atomic and Molecular Physics of Astronomical Spectra, J. Tennyson (2nd or 3rd edition)
    • Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, David J. Griffiths, 2nd revised version (2016), ISBN: 9781107179868
  • Course reports

  • More information

    When can I apply?

    Registration is open from mid-March to mid-April for courses that run in the fall, and from mid-September to mid-October for courses that run in the spring.

    Please note that many courses open for late registration in mid-July for courses in the autumn term and in mid-December for courses in the spring term.

    Read our step by step guide on how to apply

  • Contact

    Course coordinator:
    Richard Thomas, phone: +468 5537 8784, e-mail:
    Åsa Larson, phone: 08 553 786 54 , e-mail:

    Laboratory assistents:
    Sara Boscolo Bibi, phone: +468 5537 8624, e-mail:
    Raka Paul, phone: +468 553 785 86, e-mail:


    Academic advisor at the Department of Physics:

    Student office: