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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 2021-2022. Please note that changes may occur.





Vekting (SP)


Semester undervisningsstart


Antall semestre






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.
  1. Review of Atomic and Crystalline Structure of Matter
  2. X-ray and Neutrons: Wave and Particle Descriptions Basic properties of neutronsBasic properties of X-rays
  3. Scattering Theory Absorption and scattering processes: elastic and inelasticScattering cross sectionFermi's golden rule
  4. X-ray - Matter interactions Scattering by an electronScattering by an atomScattering by an atomic cellForm factors and extinction rules
  5. Neutron - Matter interactions Scattering of neutrons by a single fixed nucleusNuclear scattering (Coherent-Incoherent)Magnetic scattering
  6. Diffraction Single crystal diffractionLaue diffraction (includes practical exercise)Powder diffraction
  7. Inelastic Scattering Phonons and vibrationsSpin waves
  8. Synchrotron and Neutron Instrumentation Synchrotron sourcesNeutron sourcesDiffractometersSpectrometersSmall angle scattering techniquesReflectometers
Required prerequisite knowledge
Recommended prerequisites
FYS300 Electromagnetism and Special Relativity, FYS320 Quantum Mechanics, FYS340 Statistical Physics
Eksamen / vurdering

Oral exam and report

Vurderingsform Vekting Varighet Karakter Hjelpemiddel
Oral exam 8/10 30 Minutes A - F None permitted
Laboratory report 2/10 A - F

The 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 is no re-take possibilities for the laboratory report. Students who wish to improve their grade on this part may do so the next time the course is lectured.

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, 5-year integrated Master's Programme
Course assessment
Form and/or discussion
The syllabus can be found in Leganto