de | en

Modern X-Ray Physics

Module PH2182

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 2018

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

available module versions
SS 2019WS 2018/9SS 2018WS 2017/8SS 2017WS 2013/4

Basic Information

PH2182 is a semester module in English or German language at Master’s level which is offered every 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 Biophysics
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Focus Area Imaging in M.Sc. Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics
  • Complementary 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 60 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2182 in the version of SS 2018 was Klaus Achterhold.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


The lecture covers the basic concepts of Modern X-ray Physics with synchrotron radiation but also with modern laboratory based X-ray sources e.g. a compact-synchrotron. The focus is on imaging applications.


The Basics: X-ray sources and instrumentation

Generation of X-rays with X-ray tubes, synchrotron and the compact synchrotron MuCLS

Electron accelerator and storage ring at MuCLS; picosecond laser and laser cavity at MuCLS

X-ray interaction with matter; X-ray spectroscopy; X-ray optics and beamlines

X-ray detectors

Applications: X-ray imaging

    Absorption-based imaging and computed tomography

    X-rays as waves; propagation and coherence; near and far field

    X-ray phase-contrast imaging

    X-ray microscopy; imaging with coherent diffractive imaging and ptychography.

Learning Outcome

After successful completion of the lecture, the students will understand how X-rays interact with matter. They will know how absorption, phase and dark field contrast is created and what different ways there are to measure these modalities. The students will be able to estimate the requirements for an X-ray source in terms of source size, coherence and energy resolution in order to carry out an experiment successfully. They will also be able to decide whether a detector has the required efficiency, spatial resolution, readout speed and signal-to-noise ratio. The students will be able to analyze and interpret data ranging from spectroscopic methods to the newest imaging modalities.


no info

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

The contents of the lecture is divided into, on the one hand, basics and advanced aspects of radiation physics and, on the other hand, the technical aspects of the generation and detection of radiation. In particular the cross-connections between these two areas is addressed. Active participation of the students in the form of questions and comments is greatly appreciated. The area is fostered by exercises which include calculations as well as the "virtual" construction of a beamline under cost-benefit aspects. In an accompanying seminar, students can choose one out of about 20 publications on the physical aspects of radiation physics and one of about 20 publications on the technical aspects of radiation physics, familiarize themselves with the topic and present it to their fellow students in two talks.


The content of the lectures is presented as PowerPoint slides. Additions are written either directly into the slides or onto the blackboard. A pdf-version of the content without additions is available on Moodle shortly before the beginning of each lecture.


Philip Willmott
An introduction to Synchrotron Radiation, Wiley, 2011

Jens Als-Nielsen & Des McMorrow
Elements of Modern X-ray Physics (2nd ed.), Wiley, 2011

David Attwood,
Soft X-rays and Extreme Ultraviolet Radiation, Cambridge University Press, 1999

Klaus Wille,
Physik der Teilchenbeschleuniger und Synchrotronstrahlungsquellen, Teubner Studienbuecher, 1996

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

no info

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

Top of page