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-ordinatorPaul Pigram

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Enrolment in a Master of Nanotechnology single or double degree (SMNT or SZHSNT or SZHSN) or approval of Department of Physics postgraduate co-ordinator.


Incompatible subjects PHY3SYN

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Analyse, visualise and solve conceptual and mathematical problems related to synchrotron science and technology.

Students are assigned a set of conceptual and mathematical problems to solve in the form of four assignments. Problem-solving techniques are modelled in lectures. Students work individually to prepare and submit complete solutions to meet deadlines occurring regularly throughout the course.

02. Critically review and analyse research data in an ethical manner and interpret the results with reference to the scientific literature in order to develop appropriate conclusions and convey these in an appropriate manner 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, along with graded examples of previous students' reports.

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. Collaborate, in groups, to complete laboratory experiments. Ethically distinguish between collaborative and individual work.

Demonstrators assess the relative participation of each student in completing the experiment and in the preparation and execution of the laboratory assessment. It is repeatedly stressed via the course materials and orally that students in the group are expected to contribute equally to these activities.

05. 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, 2015, Semester 1, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorPaul Pigram

Class requirements

Laboratory Class Week: 10 - 22
One 3.0 hours laboratory class per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.

Lecture Week: 10 - 22
Two 1.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
2-hr exam comprising short-answer questions40 01, 02
One written report on a research, data analysis, or advanced computing problem10 05
The equivalent of two 2000 word laboratory reports20 03, 04
Three 1500-word assignments that could include mathematical solutions & written answers to questions30 01, 02