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Space Physics 7.5 credits

Second cycle, R7017R
Course syllabus valid: Autumn 2021 Sp 1 - Present
The version indicates the term and period for which this course syllabus is valid. The most recent version of the course syllabus is shown first.

Education level
Second cycle
Grade scale
G U 3 4 5
Space Engineering
Subject group (SCB)
Space Technology
Main field of study
Space Technology

Entry requirements

Basic courses in mathematics like M0047M Differential calculus, M0048M Linear Algebra and Calculus, M0049M Linear Algebra and Differential Equations and M0055M Multivariable calculus. Bacic courses in physics like F0004T Physics 1, F0005T Physics 2, F0006T Physics 3 and F0007T Electromagnetic field theory. Good knowledge in English equivalent to English 6.

More information about English language requirements


The selection is based on 20-285 credits

Course Aim
The student shall acquire knowledge about space physics relevant to the solar system. After finishing the course, the students shall be able to
  • Describe the structure and dynamics of the Earth's magnetosphere as well as differences between the magnetized and non-magnetised planets, 
  • Recognize the processes behind the Aurora, Demonstrate  skills to interpret physical processes on the basis of satellite data,
  • Show capability to critically and independently formulate the problems and perform technical calculations/estimations within the given time frame.
  • Show the ability and skills to present own results and judgements via report writing in English. 
After the project work, the student shall be able to
  • utilize their knowledge for judgement and/or analysis of space physical phenomena,
  • critically select and evaluate relevant scientific and technical information within the subject via literature survey/studies of scientific papers
  • demonstrate social skills needed to effectively work in a group during the project work.  

The course starts with the history of space plasma physics followed by introduction to the motion of charged particles in the electro-magnetic fields. Included in the course is solar and solar wind physics as well as the structure and dynamics of the magnetosphere of the Earth. Space environments around other planets is discussed as well as differences between non-magnetized and magnetized planets. The ionosphere and the processes responsible for auroral phenomena is described. Wave phenomena in the magnetosphere and space weather. During the project, the students study and interpret scientific papers and relate them to what they have learnt in the course,  and/or analyse measurements from particle and field satellite data.

Each course occasion´s language and form is stated and appear on the course page on Luleå University of Technology's website.

Lectures, assignments, and project.  
Parts of the lectures may be implemented using hybrid/blended education methods (online). 

If there is a decision on special educational support, in accordance with the Guideline Student's rights and obligations at Luleå University of Technology, an adapted or alternative form of examination can be provided.
Written exam and assignment and project. The project is examined through a report. To pass the entire course with a final grade, it is required that all exams and compulsory parts are passed.

Soheil Sadeghi

Literature. Valid from Spring 2011 Sp 3 (May change until 10 weeks before course start)
Kivelson, M. G. and C. T. Russell, Introduction to Space Pysics, ISBN 0-521-45104-3, ISBn 0-521-45714-9

Course offered by
Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering

CodeDescriptionGrade scaleCrStatusFrom periodTitle
0003AssignmentU G#1.50MandatoryA10
0004Written examG U 3 4 54.00MandatoryA21
0005Project workU G#2.00MandatoryA21

Study guidance
Study guidance for the course is to be found in our learning platform Canvas before the course starts. Students applying for single subject courses get more information in the Welcome letter. You will find the learning platform via My LTU.

Syllabus established
by Department of Space Science 23 Feb 2010

Last revised
by Jonny Johansson, HUL SRT 16 Feb 2021