Theory of Atomic and Molecular Physics | Physics Didactics


Research group information

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Research group description

The atomic and molecular physics research in NANOMO targets the inner and core shell photoexcitation and related processes. The experimental techniques range from conventional electron spectroscopy carried out using hemispherical analyzers to photoelectron-photoion spectroscopy and many-electron coincidence measurements using magnetic-bottle time-of-flight devices. The measurements are performed at synchrotron radiation sources around Europe, for example at MAX-IV laboratory in Lund and SOLEIL synchrotron in Paris.

The research group is also strongly interdisciplinary and studies the field of physics from a pedagogical point of view. The group is in high collaboration with the Faculty of Education at the University of Oulu. With this unique collaboration both scientific and pedagogical excellence can be utilized for the research.

PhD students

  • Anu Tuomela

Research projects

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics


The research is strongly focused in theoretical understanding of the studied processes. For small systems we carry out atomic and molecular simulations starting from the first principles utilizing the latest quantum mechanical frameworks and programs. For understanding larger systems we use multiscale methods and semi-classical molecular dynamics modeling. The work varies from the use of established programs to the development of new theories and codes.

Currently the research topics focus to the use and study of many-electron phenomena present in core shell photon-matter interaction in soft to tender X-ray energy regions. These include topics, such as, Auger emission cascades, photoionization satellite transitions, direct multiple photoionization and simultaneous many-electron Auger decay. The research is important in understanding the behavior and correlations in many-particle quantum mechanical systems including continuum processes. The methods allow also the study of ions at various charge states. In the field of molecular physics we have been concentrating especially to the study of fragmentation of molecules subsequent to core-shell ionization using photoion-photoelectron spectroscopy

  • Physics Didactics - Lectures need development: Requiremenents for a high-quality physics education from a teacher's perspective

One example of the ongoing research is M.Sc. Anu Tuomela’s PhD research. The first partial study of the research is focused on examining

the requirements for high-quality university physics education.Throughout Anu's PhD study, aim is to enhance physics education by utilizing design-based research.

  • Physics Didactics - Fighting against student attrition in university physics degree program


In M.Sc. Laura Timonen’s ongoing PhD research, the topics are the meanings of the teacher tutor –system, academic emotions of the students during the 1st year of studies, and their possible connections to student attrition or succeeding in studies in the physics degree program of the University of Oulu. This research is funded by the LUMA Centre of Oulu and the University Of Oulu’s physics degree program.