Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject, students will study the design, underlying physical principles, operation and applications of modern synchrotron light sources. Specifically, this subject will include an introduction to the production and properties of synchrotron light, storage ring systems found in modern synchrotron facilities, and the design and function of insertion devices, monochromators, X-ray optics and beam lines. A wide range of synchrotron-based experimental techniques and their applications will be explored including spectroscopy, microscopy and imaging techniques, diffraction and crystallography.

SchoolSchool of Molecular Sciences/LIMS

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorGrant van Riessen

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Must be admitted in one of the following courses: SZHSMN, SMNT, PSMSC, or SZHSN


Incompatible subjects PHY3SYN

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Analyse, critically and reflect on contemporary issues in relation to synchrotron science and technology.

Concepts and problem-solving techniques are introduced on-line and modeled in lectures where solutions to selected problems are derived. Students are assigned a set of conceptual and mathematical problems to solve in the form of four assignments.

02. Critically review and analyse research data and interpret the results with reference to the scientific literature in order to develop appropriate conclusions and convey these in a written report.

Students prepare an individual report in the style of a professional research journal article which accurately and ethically describes the experiment, its findings and draws appropriate conclusions. Students are provided with a template on which to base their report.

03. Design and perform experiments using synchrotron techniques, equipment and software which produce conclusive and accurate results.

Students conduct, in groups, two extended laboratory experiments of five hours duration each in close consultation with a staff demonstrator, who assists them in the design and conduct of the experiment.

04. Describe the recent developments in the field of synchrotron techniques and identify areas which constitute interesting research problems. Apply research principles and methods applicable to the field of synchrotron science.

Students are provided with a simple research problem solvable by computational methods, and are expected to solve it individually, in consultation with demonstrators. The approach and results are summarised in a written report, which includes a proposal for extending the project by further work on a related interesting research problem.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2018, Semester 1, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorGrant van Riessen

Class requirements

WorkShop Week: 11 - 22
One 3.0 hours workshop per week on weekdays during the day from week 11 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.

Lecture Week: 10 - 22
One 2.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.

Unscheduled Online Class Week: 11 - 20
One 4.0 hours unscheduled online class per week on weekdays during the day from week 11 to week 20 and delivered via online.


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
One 2-hour exam comprising short-answer questions (2,000-word equivalent)40 01, 02
Three written reports on a research, data analysis or advanced computing (3,500-word equivalent)45 03, 04
Six online quizzes (1,000-word equivalent total)15 01, 02