Specilization lines of physics

Aerosol and Environmental Physics

Coordinators:
Doc. Antti Lauri and Prof. Markku Kulmala

A student who has performed the studies on the aerosol- and environmental physics specialization line masters the theory and methods of modern environmental research. They relate especially to the interactions between aerosols and ecosystems and the atmosphere. The courses in the basic curriculum include the basic knowledge and prepare for versatile interpretation of environmental measurements. On the advanced curriculum courses the student obtains more comprehensive skills in the theoretical basis and measurement methods in aerosol and environmental physics. In the specialization courses the student deepens his/her knowledge in modelling, field and satellite measurements, special theories and simulation methods and applications.

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Space Physics

Coordinator:
Prof. Hannu Koskinen

A student who has performed the studies in space physics masters the research methods, which are needed for in situ measurements in space, for instance satellite measurements in the solar system. The main objects of study are the sun, the solar wind and the magnetospheres, ionospheres and gas spheres of the earth and the other planets. The Department of Phsyics is part of many international space projects (e.g. ESA and EISCAT), which offer the student interesting and challenging opportunities to develop as an expert in the field. The student will benefit from taking courses on radiation detectors and electronics in addition to the regular courses on space plasma physics. Studies in astronomy are recommended as a minor subject.

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Biophysics and Medical Physics

Coordinators:
Prof. Arto Annila and Prof. Sauli Savolainen

Specialilization line is available only in Finnish.

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Electronics and Industrial Applications

Coordinator:
Prof. Edward Haeggström

The student who has completed the specialization line in electronics and industrial applications can apply physics principles to problems faced in product and measurement method development based in electronics and technology industry. One can also specialize in ultrasonics, photonics and optical measurement methods. Students who complete the line have excellent career opportunities in the electronics industry. The basic curriculum on the line gives a basis for performing measurements with an oscilloscope and knowing how to analyze the operation of electronics circuits and understanding the structure of measuring equipment. Completing the advanced courses gives the student the capability to develop electronics solutions for problems in experimental physics. The prerequisite for the Basic curriculum courses are Electronics I and Continuum mechanics I or corresponding knowledge.

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Particle and Nuclear Physics

Coordinator:
Prof. Katri Huitu

In particle physics the smallest ingredients of matter, and interactions between them, are studied. Particle physics is currently the most topical area of research, since the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has recently begun operating at CERN. It is expected that the results from LHC will give important information of the basic structure of matter, and maybe give new ingredients to our view of the universe. Students who choose the particle physics line are first exposed to general view of the theoretical and experimental methods in the field, after which the student can specialize either in the experimental or theoretical particle physics. Instruction is also given in hadron physics and nuclear physics. In the more theoretically oriented studies the students will be prepared for the mathematical modelling and studying the implications of the models. This is essential not only in applications for particle physics experiments, but also for computational particle physics and for particle cosmology. In the more experimentally oriented education the student is studying how the experimental results are analyzed, what are the computational methods, accelerator and detection techniques, as well as the relevant material physics and IT. Many courses in experimental particle physics are thus useful also in biophysics, medical physics, electronics and industrial applications, materials and nanophysics specialization lines. Studies in particle physics will help the student to develop to an international expert and to function in an international research environment. University of Helsinki has the leading role in Finland in the research of particle physics. The research of particle physics is concentrated in Helsinki (University of Helsinki and Helsinki Institute of Physics), and the Department of Physics is responsible for the studies of experimental particle physics nationally. Together with the Helsinki Institute of Physics, the Department strongly participates in the globally leading particle physics experiments in CERN and in Fermilab (USA). This gives the students a good possibility to the international mobility already early on in the studies. The students in the field have actively taken internships e.g. at CERN and at Fermilab.

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Computational Physics

Coordinator:
Prof. Kai Nordlund

The purpose of the specialization line in computational physics is to train physicists who are able to solve problems by programming, and thus to satisfy the ever growing need of industry and universities for researchers with programming skills. Major subject for those who choose the specialization alternative can be either physics or theoretical physics. If requested, students graduating from the specialization alternative can be given a certificate stating that he or she has carried out studies in computational physics and has skills to solve problems in science by programming.

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Materials and Nanophysics

Coordinators:
Doc. Mikko Hakala and Doc. Antti Kuronen

Materials physics is one of the most essential disciplines of physics and related sciences, both research- and education-wise as well as regarding modern technology. Materials physics includes, for instance, physics of superconducting and nanostructured materials, as well as advanced materials modification and probing methods. New materials exhibit intriguing and complex phenomena, such as high-temperature superconductivity and photovoltaic properties, which in turn are used for novel application in the society.

The basic curriculum courses on this specialization line will give the student the necessary background to understand and use the fundamental theoretical foundations of materials science. The special content studies introduce the research field's essential experimental, theoretical and computational methods. These include the scattering and spectroscopy of electromagnetic radiation, accelerator ion beams, and nondestructive techniques like ultrasonics. Ion beams and electromagnetic radiation are used for instance in the characterization and tailoring of semiconductors. On the more theoretical side, the student can learn about semiconductor physics, solid state and soft condensed matter, surface science, magnetism and insulators. All these topics are relevant in many fields in industry, education and science, including computational science.

The experimental activities are usually based on large national and international collaboration projects, together with universities and industry. Collaboration with international large scale research institutes such as the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and national research centers is very active. This provides the student with excellent possibilities to work in international first-rate networks and eventually become an internationally renowned expert.

The Department of Physics coordinates the University of Helsinki multidisciplinary nanoscience teaching, in which the faculties of Science and Pharmacy offer a wide range of introductory and specialized courses covering this exciting new field. The basic courses are "Basics of Nanoscience" which is an introduction to the field for undergraduate students, and "Nanophysics and nanochemistry" which presents the background and results of the most recent nanoscience research in the Kumpula campus for MSc and PhD students.

The subject studies course Materials Physics I (5 credits) or equivalent is considered as a prerequisite for the basic curriculum cources. In addition, Quantum Mechanics I (10 credits) is highly recommended.

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Solid Earth Geophysics

Coordinators:
Prof. Ilmo Kukkonen and Doc. Emilia Koivisto

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