NFYK20001U Particle Detectors and Beams: Fundamentals and Developments in Physics and Life Science

Volume 2021/2022

MSc Programme in Physics


In experimental science, particle beams are used for fundamental research in the study of materials and their smallest constituents (elementary particles), or of live structures. The purpose of the study will decide which particle detectors are best suited to record the interaction for later data analysis.  As the questions addressed become more sophisticated and complex, so do the experimental apparata.

The course will cover the fundamentals of particles interactions with matter, and particle beam generation / acceleration. The course will then focus on a selection of advanced and currently on-going research projects in physics of materials, particle physics and life science (biology or medicine), and detail how choices are made on the beams and detector technologies to carry out such research. The course will highlight some big open questions in these fields, and which developments might be required next, on particle detectors and beams, to address them.  

The fundamental research program at Max-VI or ESS in Lund, or at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, or at national hospitals, will be the focus of the lectures, simulation exercises, and experiments. It is expected that the students will visit one of the facilities mentioned, for some of the experimental exercises.

Learning Outcome


After the course, the student

  • can make a new design or evaluate an existing design of a particle detector system or an accelerator for a given purpose using analytical methods or simulations.
  • can carry out experimental work and can analyse the data
  • has solid knowledge of the fundamental concepts of particle beam production and detection, and of how choices are made on the beams and detector technologies to carry out fundamental research in the study of materials and their smallest constituents (elementary particles), or of live structures.



  •  Understand the fundamental principles for particle beams generation and particle detection
  •  Understand how small- or large-scale facilities for research in physics and life science are designed
  •  Have an overview of the current needs for accelerator or detector development to address the next big questions in physics or life science


  • Be able to participate in experiments at small or large scale facilities
  • Be able to perform simple analysis of data from such facilities
  • Be able to simulate and optimize the design of such facilities.
  • Be able to write his/her own proposal for a new experiment
The student should have a bachelor in physics. The student should feel comfortable with programming (C++ or Python or ….).
Lectures, computer simulation exercises, laboratory exercises (at national or international facilities).
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 35
  • Preparation
  • 69
  • Theory exercises
  • 28
  • Laboratory
  • 24
  • Exam
  • 50
  • Total
  • 206

(details to be agreed at start of the course).

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, final project
A final report, in the form of a new experiment proposal (so called “letter of intent”), must be submitted in written form individually by each student, and approved.
Exam registration requirements

The student must submit all lab reports and solutions to simulation exercises.   
The student must do an oral presentation during the course on the experimental proposal, which will be submitted in written form for the exam.

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several examiners (including the course responsibles)

If the submitted written report for the exam is not approved, a new written report must be submitted. The deadline for the submission of the revised reports is to be agreed between the student and the course responsible, but should not exceed 30 days after the conclusion of the course.

The exam registration requirements hold also for the re-exam. Lab reports and simulation exercises should be submitted at the same time as the revised report. The oral presentation will be arranged individually; please contact the course responsible.

If a student did not participate in the labs and simulations, the student cannot fulfill the requirement, and must follow the course again next year.

Criteria for exam assesment

see learning outcome