X-ray and Neutron scattering (FYS620)

Introduction to X-ray and Neutron scattering. The course covers the basic physical principles underlying the interaction of X-ray and neutrons with matter, as well as the physics behind standard experimental techniques used to understand the structure and dynamical processes in matter.

Course description for study year 2024-2025


Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Semester tution start


Number of semesters


Exam semester


Language of instruction



NB! This is an elective course and may be cancelled if fewer than 10 students are enrolled by January 20th for the spring semester.

  1. Review of Atomic and Crystalline Structure of Matter
  2. X-ray and Neutrons: Wave and Particle Descriptions
  3. Scattering Theory
  4. Absorption and scattering processes: elastic and inelastic
  5. X-ray - Matter interaction
  6. Neutron - Matter interactions
  7. Diffraction
  8. Introduction to spectroscopy
  9. Synchrotron and Neutron Instrumentation

Learning outcome

After completing the course, the student will be able to explain various types of interactions between x-ray/neutrons and matter. Characterize main types of scattering: elastic / inelastic, coherent / incoherent, nuclear / magnetic, apply the theory of basic principles in diffraction and spectroscopy. Be able to calculate structural factors for simple systems. Be able to explain fundamental characteristics of synchrotron radiation as well as various types of experimental methods associated with the use of neutrons and synchrotron radiation. Determine whether neutron scattering or X-ray scattering is a suitable experimental technique for a given project. Explain the structure of instruments for the different types of experiments.

Required prerequisite knowledge


Recommended prerequisites

FYS300 Electromagnetism and Special Relativity, FYS320 Quantum Mechanics, FYS340 Statistical Physics


Oral exam and report

Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Oral exam 8/10 30 Minutes Letter grades None permitted
Report 2/10 Letter grades

Aids for report writing: book, lecture notes, computerThe course has a continuous assessment. All parts must be passed in order to obtain a final grade.A re-sit exam is offered for the oral exam in accordance with the faculty's ordinary cycle.There are no re-take possibilities for the laboratory report until the course is lectured again.

Coursework requirements

Attendance at lab training

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Diana Lucia Quintero Castro

Head of Department:

Bjørn Henrik Auestad

Method of work

4 hours lectures and 2 hours exercises per week.1 laboratory practice

Open for

Mathematics and Physics - Master of Science Degree Programme Mathematics and Physics - Five Year Integrated Master's Degree Programme

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course supervisor, the student union representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital subject evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


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