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Detector Physics

  • 7.5 credits

Detectors are essential components of experiments in all areas of physics. In this course, you will learn the fundamental principles behind particle and radiation detection, including specific examples of the most common detector types. You will gain first-hand experience of detector use through laboratory exercises.

Information for admitted students Autumn 2020

Congratulations! You have been admitted at Stockholm University and we hope that you will enjoy your studies with us.

In order to ensure that your studies begin as smoothly as possible we have compiled a short checklist for the beginning of the semester.

Follow the instructions on wether you have to reply to your offer or not.


Checklist for admitted students

  1. Activate your university account

    The first step in being able to register and gain access to all the university's IT services.

  2. Register at your department

    Registration can be done in different ways. Read the instructions from your department below.

  3. Read all the information on this page

    Here you will find what you need to know before your course or programme starts.


Your seat may be withdrawn if you do not register according to the instructions provided by your department.

Information from the department

Everyone admitted to a course at the Department of Physics will receive a welcome letter with important information from us via e-mail. If you have not receive the mail by the beginning of August, please contact our study advisor!


Courses at the Department of Physics do not have a roll-call. Instead the course starts with the first lecture.


After being admitted to a course, you must register to confirm that you are starting your studies. For most of our courses this can be done online using your university account. Registration normally opens two weeks before the course starts and you must have registered at the latest one week after the first lecture. If you have any problems with registration, contact our student office. Contact details can be found below.

Click here to register online.

Learning platform

Most of the courses in physics use the Athena learning platform. Once registered, the course should appear automatically in Athena. If you cannot find the course, contact the course coordinator. If the course uses a different website, you can find the link further down on this web page.

Conditionally admitted

If you are conditionally admitted to a course at our department you need to contact our study advisor before you can register. Contact us as soon as possible, well before the course starts. Contact details are found further down on this web page.

Applicants on waiting list

Are you placed on a waiting list to any of our courses? You will always be contacted by e-mail if you  are offered a place. Normaly we will not admit new students if more than 1 week has passed after the firsts lecture.

Find the Departmend of Physics

Most of the physics courses are held in the AlbaNova building, located between the Frescati campus and the Royal Institute of Technology (Tekniska högskolan, KTH). Courses in medical radiation physics are held at Campus Karolinska Hospital. A few of our physics courses are also given in collaboration with KTH or other departments. If this is the case it is clearly stated further down on this web page.

Find AlbaNova.

Education during autumn 2020

Most courses at the Department of Physics which starts during the first period of the autumn semester will have lectures given online while practical elements (e.g., laboratory exercises) and examination take place on campus.

Click here to read more about the education during autumn 2020.

More specific deatalis regarding this course can be found further down on this web page or on the course page in the Athena learning platform. If you have questions you can contact the course coordinator; contact details are found further down on this web page.

Welcome activities

Stockholm University organises a series of welcome activities that stretch over a few weeks at the beginning of each semester. The programme is voluntary (attendance is optional) and includes Arrival Service at the airport and an Orientation Day, see more details about these events below.
Your department may also organise activities for welcoming international students. More information will be provided by your specific department. 

Find your way on campus

Stockholm University's main campus is in the Frescati area, north of the city centre. While most of our departments and offices are located here, there are also campus areas in other parts of the city.

Find your way on campus

Read more

New student

During your studies

Student unions

For new international students

Pre-departure information

New in Sweden

This course is for you who want to attain a working knowledge of detector physics as a basis for any experimental project you might engage in. You will get an introduction to radiation and particle detectors and their use in Experimental Physics and in a large variety of related areas of application. You will learn about the basic physical processes for the detection of radiation and particles. These include the photo-electric effect, Compton scattering, pair production, excitation, ionization, bremsstrahlung, Cherenkov radiation, nuclear reactions and secondary emission. You will study the working principles of a wide range of contemporary detectors applied in research and industry including: charged-particle detectors, charge-coupled devices, light sensors, gas detectors, scintillation detectors, semiconductor detectors, bolometric detectors. You will be introduced to the detection systems based on such detectors and their applications in molecular, atomic, nuclear and particle physics, quantum optics as well as in medicine, accelerator physics and other fields. To make sense of the physical output from the detectors you need to further study signal processing, measurement methodology and detector-performance metrics. The laboratory sessions will offer you the opportunity to familiarize yourself in depth with a smaller number of different detectors.

Teaching during the autumn term 2020

During the autumn semester 2020, the lectures in the course Detector Physics will be given remotely. Laboratory work will be carried out on campus. The course is examined through written reports as well as an oral exam carried out on campus. The course is using the Athena learning platform.

  • Course structure

    This is a second cycle course given at half speed during daytime. This course can also be taken as a third cycle course.

    Teaching format

    The teaching and learning activities are lectures, problem solving classes, an independent literature study project, and laboratory exercises.


    The examination consists of an oral exam, a seminar presentation, and written reports on the laboratory exercises.


    Christophe Clément, Phone: +468-553 786 58, E-mail:

    Course assistant:

    Cristian Antochi, 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.

    Claus Grupen, Boris A. Shwartz, "Particle detectors", Second Edition, Cambridge University Press, 2008

  • 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

    Academic advisor at the Department of Physics:

    Student office: