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Modern Physics Research


Admission Requirements

There are no requirements


This course introduces selected contemporary topics in physics as well as basic academic skills of modern research.

Students will be provided with a bird’s-eye view of contemporary challenges in the physics community through work sessions and guest lectures covering all the major fields in physics. There will be special emphasis on the topics that are central to LION because LION most likely will play a part in the student’s foreseeable future.

In interactive work sessions, students will learn about academic skills: searching literature, reading papers, writing reports, and presenting posters. A group research project forms the core of this class. In groups of three, you choose a recent research question and apply the before mentioned research skills to discover current challenges related to your question. You will discuss the outcomes with your peers, and will present a poster with your findings at the end of the course.

Course objectives

After this class, you will be able to dive into a completely new research topic and summarize the key challenges in a written report and a poster presentation.

This involves that you are able to

  • select a difficult contemporary topic in physics that interests the members of your group

  • pose a physics related and unanswered question

  • use the main tools for literature search to find papers related to a specialized topic

  • digest difficult research papers efficiently so that you can gauge their quality and extract key information

  • write a literary overview that recapitulates the main results of an extensive collection of research papers related to a specialized topic

  • summarize the current key challenges for a specialized physics topic in a written report and a poster presentation

Transferable Skills

After this class, you will be able to

  • work in a small group on summarizing key challenges in a specialized physics topic and distribute and manage the various tasks involved

  • write a report on a very difficult, specialized topic

  • create a poster that summarizes a topic clearly

  • present a poster to your peers

  • make an informed choice about a future research field you want to be involved in and have an overview of the possibilities within LION concerning that choice


For detailed information go to Timetable in Brightspace

You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

See Brightspace

Assessment method

Handed in reports and poster session.

Reading list

Papers related to your research project.


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.
Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.

Contact Paul Logman