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Mandatory Part

The Mandatory Part aims at gaining advanced knowledge in theoretical physics, profound skills in current experimental techniques and scientific discours. The offered topics in the Mandatory Part are chosen to give preferably good conditions for the areas you can choose in the Specialization Part.

The Mandatory Part consists of one advanced lecture in theoretical physics, and two practical trainings.

Advanced Theoretical Physics

For Advanced Theoretical Physics you have to attend (at least) one out of the lectures Advanced Quantum Mechanics (summer term) and Advanced Statistical Physics (winter term). This is because the Cologne master program is highly involved with the local research and all research topics rely on one of both. Instead of the Cologne courses you can also choose the corresponding courses from Bonn; this is especially interesting regarding Advanced Quantum Mechanics as the Cologne course is more oriented towards condensed matter theory whereas the Bonn course is more oriented towards particle physics.

You may also attend both courses and use the spare one in the Elective Part.

Practical Training

The pracical trining aims at the development of well-founded skills in scientific work:

  • Linking theory, experiment and simulation
  • Working with literature and data
  • Productive teamwork in heterogeneous groups
  • Scientific writing and presentation

This is done in unity with the deepening of physical topics to be chosen by the students.

The Practical Training consists of an Advanced Seminar and two labcourses. The choice of the seminar is independetn form the coice of the labcourses.

Students have to give a talk in the seminar (not graded), hand in extensive paper-like labreports for each conducted experiment (not graded) and pass two graded oral exams on the chosen labcourses.

Advanced Seminar

For the advanced seminar you can choose any seminar offered by the Physics Departments of Cologne or is offered by the Physics Department of Bonn or is part of the Quantum Technology focus area in Aachen.

Further seminars can be chosen in the Elective or - if they fit the chosen fiel - as specialzied courses in the Primary or Secondary.

 Currently offered seminars in Cologne   Currently offered seminars in Bonn   Currently offered seminars in Aachen (comig soon) 


You have to choose 2 out of 6 different labcourses.

The labcourses are done in groups of 2-3 students, which have typically very different skills depending on the different bachelor program they have studied. Thus, it's crucial that the students of a group do not just split up the work among each other, but really meet and do everything together. The goal is not only that the work is done, but that students share the skills they have within the group. So keep in mind:

  • It's not about efficiently dividing work among different students, but It's about learning by teaching each other.
  • You can register for each labcourse as a group; otherwise you will get assigned to other students. The assignment is done with the goal to build maximum heterogenity within the groups.
  • You are not only responsible for yourself, but for your whole group! So, don't fade out if you have any problems, but talk with your group. Responsive communication is key in the labcourses.
Labcourse Topic Institution Contact Registration
Atomic and molecular physics Institute of Physics I Dr. Frank Lewen
Tel.: 0221-470-2757
Cologne Labcourse Database
Condensed matter physics Institute of Physics II Prof. Dr. Thomas Lorenz
Tel.: 0221-470-3593
Nuclear physics Institute of Nuclear Physics Dr. Christoph Fransen
Tel.: 0221-470-3627
Prof. Dr. Peter Reiter
Tel.: 0221-470-3624
Biological physics Institute of Biological Physics Prof. Dr. Berenike Maier
Tel.: 0221-470-8046
Computational physics department-wide Prof. Dr. Simon Trebst
Tel.: 0221-470-7420
Particle physics Bonn University Dr. Barbara Valeriani-Kaminski
Tel.: 0228-732244