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Course content

The course is concerned with the Earth's atmosphere (including ozone and UV-radiation), magnetic fields and Aurora, and discusses the effects of the Sun and the solar wind. The Aurora, in particular, is a result of the interaction between the atmospheres of the Sun and the Earth. The Aurora gives information about the energy transfer from the solar wind to the magnetosphere. The variations in the energy state of the magnetosphere are related to the phenomenon we in general terms call "space weather". Knowledge about the atmosphere and the radiation environment of the Earth, and other planets as well, is important for our basic understanding of climate variations. The course will include a summary of space and ground based instruments for measurements of phenomena in the plasma environment of the Earth. By the word "plasma" we understand a mixture of free ions and electrons, or charged particle in general. It turns out that about 99 % of the universe is in the plasma state, implying that understanding of the this so called "fourth state of matter" is of fundamental importance, in particular also for astrophysics.

Learning outcome

To provide the students a basic understanding of space weather prediction, combined with an understanding of the magnetized atmospheres surrounding the Earth and also other planets. A theoretical background for master projects in plasma and space physics is offered. The course will give a valuable introduction to areas of applications, for those interested in measurement techniques and instrumentation related to space technology.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

In addition to fulfilling the Higher Education Entrance Qualification, applicants have to meet the following special admission requirements:

  • Mathematics R1 (or Mathematics S1 and S2) + R2

And and in addition one of these:

  • Physics (1+2)
  • Chemistry (1+2)
  • Biology (1+2)
  • Information technology (1+2)
  • Geosciences (1+2)
  • Technology and theories of research (1+2)

The special admission requirements may also be covered by equivalent studies from Norwegian upper secondary school or by other equivalent studies (in Norwegian).

Recommended previous knowledge

Knowledge corresponding to the following courses at the University of Oslo: FYS-MEK1110 - Mechanics, FYS1120 - Electromagnetism, FYS2130 - Waves and oscillations and FYS2140 - Quantum physics.


The course is given in the fall term and contains 4 hours of teaching (lectures and exercises) per week. Compulsory problems and project work will be included.

As the teaching involves laboratory and/or field work, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.


Mid-term exam (2 hours) in mid October with approx. 20 % weight. Project work with approx. 20 % weight. In addition an oral exam at the end of the semester.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


This course is taught for the last time 2017. It will be replaced by FYS3600 from the autumn of 2018.


Every autumn

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)