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Physics with Positrons 2

Module PH2076

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 SS 2022 (current)

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
SS 2022SS 2021SS 2020SS 2019SS 2018SS 2017SS 2011

Basic Information

PH2076 is a semester module in German or English 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.

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

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2076 is Christoph Pascal Hugenschmidt.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This module is the continuation of the module Physics with Positrons I (PH2075) in which the measurement of positron lifetime was last presented. In comparison to this, measurements of electron pulse distributions and element distributions around defects with (coincident) Doppler widening spectroscopy are discussed first. With higher pulse resolution you can determine the electronic structure (Fermi surfaces) of solids by measuring the angular correlation of the annihilation radiation. The advantages of this method, in particular using positron spin, are compared with complementary techniques. Then, highly sensitive positron methods for structure measurement and elemental analysis of surfaces will be presented. Basic experiments on leptonic binding states with positrons and applications in atomic physics will be discussed. Finally, processes for the production of antihydrogen and measurements are explained. Current research results will be discussed and an outlook on future experiments will be given.

Learning Outcome

After successful participation in this module, the student will be able to

  • explain experiments for the detection of crystal defects
  • explain how positrons can be used to measure Fermi surfaces
  • present experiments on element concentration on surfaces
  • explain the basics of positron diffraction on surfaces
  • to name the advantages of spin-resolved measurements
  • explain the production and measurements with Positronium and the negatively charged Positronium ion
  • outline basic experiments with anti-hydrogen


The module is significantly based on previous knowledge from the module Physics with Positrons I (PH2075). Apart from that, no further lectures beyond the admission requirements for the Master's programme are absolutely necessary.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

In this lecture, the contents are presented by lecturing the theoretical basics and their experimental implementation, which are explained by illustrative examples. In particular, cross-references and the explanation of complementary measurement methods are used to bridge the gap to various topics. In the lecture, calculations and exemplary estimations are carried out on the basis of examples so that the students can independently explain and apply what they have learned. Great emphasis is put on stimulating interactive discussion with students about what they have just learned. This promotes students' own analytical ability to think through physical problems. The lecture contains hyperlinks and references to the relevant literature, which are intended to promote independent literature research.


Lecture with beamer presentation, blackboard presentation and discussion; lecture notes as pdf-files, supplementary literature


Textbooks in solid state and nuclear physics such as:

  • 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);

Positron physics:

  • P. Coleman, Positron Beams and Their Applications, World Scientific, (2000).
  • References to Reviews will be given during the lecture.

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be an oral exam of 30 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, discussions based on sketches and basic formulas.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • Describe the setup for the measurement of the angular correlation of the annihilation radiation.
  • How can we make spin-resolved measurements?
  • How can we produce antihydrogen?

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.

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