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Modern X-ray Science: Theory and Applications

Ever since Röntgen showed that X-rays could be used for medical applications, the role of X-rays in probing atomic and molecular level structures has proven invaluable in both materials science and modern medicine. This course showcases the research that 21st century X-ray sources opens up.

Image: Fivos Perakis

X-ray science has evolved dramatically in the 21st century with the appearance of new generation synchrotron and x-ray free electron lasers (XFEL) sources. Such examples are the new Swedish national laboratory MAXIV in Lund, which is one of the world’s most brilliant synchrotron sources, as well as the novel European XFEL in Hamburg, which can generate ultrashort X-ray pulses and with a brilliance that is a billion times higher than that of the best conventional X-ray radiation sources.

The scope of this course is to give an overview of the x-ray methods that are used currently worldwide, starting from the fundamental theory behind and building up to modern state-of the art techniques. The course will include lectures covering the theory behind each technique, as well as simple model simulations to illustrate the basic principles of the different methods.

The content will follow the multidisciplinary character of the field by including examples from physics, material science, biology and chemistry. In addition, the participants will present a topic from a collection of research highlights. The course content includes x-ray diffraction applications from crystalline and non-crystalline materials, small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS), wide-angle x-ray scattering (WAXS), x-ray spectroscopy (XAS, XES, EXAFS, ARPES), magnetic interactions (XMCD) and coherent diffraction (Imaging, Holography, XPCS).

  • Course structure

    This is a second cycle course given at half speed during daytime and in every odd year. It can also be taken as a third-cycle course.

    Teaching format

    The teaching consists of lectures, group education, and laboratory exercises.


    The course is examined through written and oral project presentations, and through continual assessment of home exercises.


    Foivos Perakis

    Phone: +468 5537 8574


  • 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.

    • ”Elements of Modern X-ray Physics,” by Jens Als-Nielsen and Des McMorrow
    • “X-Rays and Extreme Ultraviolet Radiation: Principles and Applications,” by David Attwood and Anne Sakdinawat
    • “X-Ray Diffraction: Modern Experimental Techniques,” by Oliver H. Seeck and Bridget Murphy


  • Contact

    Course coordinator and teacher:
    Foivos Perakis , tel: 08 5537 8574, e-mail:


    Academic advisor at the Department of Physics:

    Student office: