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Course content

Space physics and technology provides an overview of the plasma environment around the Earth, its dynamical processes, and describes how we can use satellites and sounding rockets to study phenomena and processes. The course introduces fundamental concepts like the solar wind, coupling of magnetic flux, the Dungey cycle, and explains the coupling between the Sun and the magnetosphere, the ionosphere, and the upper atmosphere. In addition, the course gives an insight into the interaction between plasmas and satellites/sounding rockets, and shed light on the challenges associated with measurements made on-board spacecrafts.

Learning outcome

After having completed this course you will:

  • Possess a theoretical background allowing you to describe basic plasma parameters, principles of plasma dynamics, and selected types of waves.
  • Know the physical processes controlling the coupling between the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetosphere/ionosphere, as well as the global dynamics of the upper polar atmosphere.
  • Be able to explain how space weather phenomena impact infrastructures on Earth and in Space, in particular for communication and navigation systems.
  • Know how to calibrate and analyze data from satellites and sounding rockets, and how to use coordinate transformation in this context.
  • Have the knowledge necessary for advanced studies within space and plasma physics, including the use of ground-based and spacecraft data.


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 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

Overlapping courses

Information about overlapping courses may not be complete. Contact the Department of Physics if you require more information,


The course is given over an entire semester with 6 hours of lecture per week (4 hours of lecture and 2 hours of exercises). The course comprises 10 complulsory assignments and a project equivalent to one full week of work.

Regulations for mandatory assignments can be found here.


Minimum 6 (out of 10 compulsory assignments) must be approved to be able to take the final oral exam.

To pass the course, the students are required to have passed the project and the final exam.

The project counts for 30% of the final grade and the final exam for 70% of the final grade.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

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 exam at the beginning of the next semester.

New examinations are offered at the beginning of the next semester for students who do not successfully complete the exam during the previous semester.

We do not offer a re-scheduled exam for students who withdraw during the exam.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Exam attempts in the courses

count as exam attempts in FYS3600 – Space physics and technology.

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


Every autumn

Teaching language