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Physics with Neutrons 1 (Fundamentals)

Module PH2053

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.

Module version of WS 2017/8

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
WS 2022/3WS 2021/2WS 2020/1WS 2019/20WS 2018/9WS 2017/8WS 2016/7WS 2015/6WS 2010/1

Basic Information

PH2053 is a semester module in English or 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.

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Complementary 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 60 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2053 in the version of WS 2017/8 was Winfried Petry.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


  • Introduction
  • Neutron sources
  • Properties of the free neutron
  • Elastic scattering from ordered systems
  • Small angle scattering
  • Reflectometry

Learning Outcome

After participation in the module the student is able to:

  • apply the kinematic theory of elastic neutron scattering
  • understand the use of various instruments for neutron scattering
  • judge the use of various scattering methods for the determination of the structure of various materials
  • analyse x-ray and neutron scattering diffraction data from powder and single crystals
  • understand diffraction data from non-crystalline materials


  • Bachelor degree in physics
  • suggested: course in solid state physics

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

The learning outcomes of the module will be achieved via frontal lecture, written and verbal lecturing and powerpoint presentations. The lecture will be complemented by a weekly exercise class, where students will solve problems under supervision of a tutor.


  • lecture
  • exercises
  • books
  • internet


  1. G. L. Squires: Introduction to the Theory of Thermal Neutron Scattering, Dover Publications, N. Y. (1966).
  2. A. Furrer, J. Mesot, T. Strässle: Neutron Scattering in Condensed Matter Physics, World Scientific, London (2009) .
  3. S. W. Lovesey, Theory of Neutron Scattering from Condensed Matter I, II, Oxford Science Publ., Oxford (1984).
  4. A. Furrer: Frontiers in Neutron Scattering, World Scientific, London (1999).
  5. G. E. Bacon: Neutron Diffraction, Oxford (1962).
  6. P. A. Egelstaff: Thermal Neutron Scattering, Acad. Press, London (1965).

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be an oral exam of 25 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using comprehension questions and example calulations.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • Give the equation which defines the wave length of matter. Discuss the dependencies write down the fission reaction.
  • Warum müssen Spaltneutronen moderiert werden? Was bedeutet Moderation?
  • Beschreiben Sie den Energietransfer bei elastischen zentralen Stößen.
  • Nennen Sie typische Moderatoren. Diskutieren Sie den Unterschied von D2O und H2O als Moderator. Wie groß ist die Diffusionslänge in beiden Moderatoren?
  • Diskutieren Sie die Unterschiede / Komplementarität von Reaktorneutronenquellen und Spallationsneutronenquellen.
  • Beachten Sie die verschiedenen Wirkungsquerschnitte für thermische Neutronen. Was ist die Einheit für einen Wirkungsquerschnitt?
  • Wie ist die Beziehung zwischen Sigma_Coh und Streulänge b?
  • Geben Sie die Definition des doppelten Differentialquerschnitts für thermische Neutronen an.
  • Was ist der Streuvektor.
  • Wie lautet die Laue-Bedingung in der Beugung? Was bedeutet diese?
  • Wie lautet die Bragg-Bedingung? Was beschreibt sie?

Remarks on associated module exams

The exam for this module can be taken together with the exam to the associated follow-up module PH2054: Physics with Neutrons 2 / Physik mit Neutronen 2 after the follwoing semester. In this case you need to register for both exams in the following semester.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester. There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

Current exam dates

Currently TUMonline lists the following exam dates. In addition to the general information above please refer to the current information given during the course.

Exam to Physics with Neutrons 1
Mon, 2024-02-05 till 23:55 Dummy-Termin. Wenden Sie sich zur individuellen Terminvereinbarung an die/den Prüfer(in). Anmeldung für Prüfungstermin vor 23.03.2024. // Dummy date. Contact examiner for individual appointment. Registration for exam date before 2024-Mar-23. till 2024-01-15 (cancelation of registration till 2024-02-04)
Mon, 2024-03-25 till 23:55 Dummy-Termin. Wenden Sie sich zur individuellen Terminvereinbarung an die/den Prüfer(in). Anmeldung für Prüfungstermin zwischen 25.03.2024 und 20.04.2024. // Dummy date. Contact examiner for individual appointment. Registration for exam date between 2024-Mar-25 and 2024-Apr-20. till 2024-03-24
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