Atomic Physics
For Student Groups

What is the structure of the atomic shell? How can atoms absorb and release energy? These are the central questions in the course on atomic physics. The topics covered in this modular course are selected by individual arrangement.

Book Atomic Physics

16 to 21 years
0.5 to 2.5 days
Maximum number of participants


  • Balmer series with grating spectrometer
  • Specific electron charge e/m with teltron tube
  • Franck-Hertz experiment with neon
  • He-Ne laser or Pr:YLF laser
  • X-ray physics

The course on atomic physics is composed of different experiments, each of half-day length. The experiments are chosen by the teacher prior to the course. This way, teachers can select a program with variable length fitting their students’ needs.

If several experiments are combined in a course, common aspects like mechanisms of atomic excitation (excitation by energetic electrons, atoms, photons) and mechanisms of energy release (emission of photon, radiationless transitions) are particularly emphasized. Additionally, the relevance of different energy scales (from eV to 10 keV) and the difference of electronic transitions between inner and outer shells are addressed.

For selection of the experiments and questions regarding the course, please contact Dr. Christina Lumme or Dr. Carsten Nowak.


Structure of atoms: charged particles, electronic shell, nucleus; light as electromagnetic wave