Physics with Positrons 1

Module PH2075

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

PH2075 is a semester module in German or English 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 Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics

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 40 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2075 is Christoph Pascal Hugenschmidt.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This module provides an introduction to the physics of positron with its applications in atomic physics and in particular in materials science, solid state and surface physics. After a historical overview different techniques will be presented, how positron sources and mono-energetic positron beams are produced. The interaction of positrons with matter is described to illustrate how positrons are used as a probe to investigate crystal defects on an atomic-scale. With surface analysis as an example the specific differences to techniques, in which electrons are used, are shown. Then a systematic overview of crystal defects and the characterization of the free volume of amorphous solids is given. Then various radiation and particle detectors are presented and their application in positron experiments is discussed. Finally, various spectrometers are presented to investigate electron momentum distributions, defect types and concentrations, element distributions near defects, surfaces and fundamental properties of positronium. Exemplarily some findings of current research are discussed. 


Learning Outcome

After successful completion of this module, the students are able to

  1. understand and explain the interaction of positrons and gamma rays with matter
  2. present particle and radiation detectors,
  3. explain the production of positron beams, and the electrostatic and magnetic beam guidance
  4. explain the operation of positron spectrometers and complementary measuring methods
  5. describe crystal defects and to know positron techniques that are applied to the investigation of it
  6. explain the measurement of the electronic structure of materials
  7. to explain the production and measurements with positronium 


No special prerequisites beyond the ususal Masters degree program.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

Lecture, computer-based presentations, blackboard, discussion.


Web-site, specialised literature, presentations as pdf-files.


Standard textbooks of solid state and nuclear physics, eg.

C. Schaefer L. Bergmann. Lehrbuch der Experimentalphysik, Bd. 6: Festkörper. Gruyter, (2005);

Neil W. Ashcroft and N. David Mermin. Solid State Physics. Saunders College, Fort Worth, (2001);

G. Schatz and A. Weidinger. Nukleare Festkörperphysik. B. G. Teubner, (1997);

Theo Mayer-Kuckuk. Kernphysik. Teubner, Stuttgart, (1984);

For positron physics:

P. Coleman, Positron Beams and Their Applications, World Scientific, (2000).

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.

Remarks on associated module exams

The exam for this module can be taken together with the exam to the associated follow-up module PH2076: Physik mit Positronen 2 / Physics with Positrons 2 after the follwoing semester. In this case you need to register for both exams in the following semester.

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.