Scattering Methods in Molecular Biophysics

Module PH2011

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Basic Information

PH2011 is a semester module in German language at Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • General catalogue of special courses
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Biophysics

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 75 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2011 is Klaus Achterhold.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


  • elastic x-ray scattering at protein crystals
  • phase problem of X-ray crystallography and solution procedures
  • static structure distribution and dynamics of biomolecules
  • diffuse scattering
  • time-resolved X-ray structure determination with the Laue method
  • elastic and inelastic neutron scattering
  • small-angle scattering 

Learning Outcome

After successfully participating in this module the students understand the crystal structure analysis with X-rays and neutrons as complementary methods. They can apply the reciprocal space as a tool for quick and easy visualization of scattering processes. The students understand the importance of the energy resolution of a scattering method, the difference between static and dynamic distribution of the atomic coordinates and the difference of structural distribution and structural relaxation. 


There are no prerequisites required.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

Lecture, beamer presentation, discussions


beamer presentation


  • Tilman Butz, Fourier Transformation for pedestrians, Teubner
  • Jan Drenth, Principles of X-ray protein crystallography, Springer Verlag

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

In an oral exam the learning outcome is tested using comprehension questions and sample problems.

In accordance with §12 (8) APSO the exam can be done as a written test. In this case the time duration is 60 minutes.

Exam Repetition

There is a possibility to take the exam at the end of the semester. There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

Condensed Matter

When atoms interact things can get interesting. Fundamental research on the underlying properties of materials and nanostructures and exploration of the potential they provide for applications.

Nuclei, Particles, Astrophysics

A journey of discovery to understanding our world at the subatomic scale, from the nuclei inside atoms down to the most elementary building blocks of matter. Are you ready for the adventure?


Biological systems, from proteins to living cells and organisms, obey physical principles. Our research groups in biophysics shape one of Germany's largest scientific clusters in this area.