Molecular Biophysics: Spectroscopic Methods

Module PH2012

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

PH2012 is a semester module in German language at Master’s level which is offered in winter 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 PH2012 is Klaus Achterhold.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


  • optical absorption
  • reaction kinetics
  • enzyme kinetics
  • normal modes
  • Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • circular dichroism and optical rotatory dispersion
  • EPR spectroscopy (Electron Paramagnetic Resonance)
  • NMR spectroscopy (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance)
  • NMR tomography
  • electron nuclear double resonance spectroscopy (ENDOR)
  • extended X-ray absorption fine structure ( EXAFS)
  • Mössbauer spectroscopy with synchrotron radiation and radioactive sources

Learning Outcome

After successfully participating in this module controls the students understand the basics of a variety of spectroscopic methods. The students know how the amount of secondary structure elements of a protein, local distances of atoms in proteins and the chemical environment of the probe atoms in the protein can be determined. Furthermore, the students have learned, how the harmonic and the protein-specific dynamics are determined, and which information about the function of a protein is obtained. 


No preconditions in addition to the requirements for the Master’s program in Physics.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

Lecture, beamer presentation, discussion


beamer presentation


  • Tilman Butz, Fouriertransformation für Fußgänger, Teubner
  • Hans-Joachim Galla, Spektrosk. Methoden in der Biochemie, Thieme Verlag
  • Horst Friebolin, Ein- und zweidimensionale NMR-Spektroskopie, VCH
  • John E. Wertz, James R. Bolton, Electron Spin Resonance, Elementary Theory and Practical Applications, McGraw-Hill
  • Topics in Applied Physics, Vol 5, Mössbauer Spectroscopy, Ed. U. Gonser, 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.