Every PhD student is required to follow courses for a total of 18 CFUs, 6 of which must be for soft and complementary skills. Students are warmly encouraged to accumulate 12 CFUs in the first year and 6 CFUs in the second. The LENS PhD school organises four courses every year, 3 CFU each. It is mandatory for all students to attend: (1) one module of Imaging and microscopy, (2) Spectroscopy, (3) Light-matter interaction, and (4) Science communication. Other courses can be chosen among those organised by the Department of Physics and Chemistry.

According to the definition adopted by the University of Florence, one CFU corresponds to 25 hours of total work, including both frontal lectures and individual study. With the advancement of the student's education, the weight shifts toward individual study so that, at the graduate level, one CFU is assigned for four hours of frontal lectures and 21 hours of individual study.

Download here the UniFI offer for soft skill course.

By December of the first year, every student shall submit their study plan with the courses chosen for the three years. Each study plan shall undergo the approval of the Teaching Committee, after hearing the student’s Tutor.

At the end of each course, the students shall pass an examination; modalities of the examination will be agreed by the Teaching Committee and by the course teacher(s).


Due to the corona virus epidemic, calendars are not valid anymore. They are displayed only to indicate the planned content of the courses. 

Courses at LENS in 2020

Microscopy and imaging (fundaments) (3 CFU), R. Cicchi, L. Sacconi, L. Silvestri, M. Capitanio

All lectures Wednesday 10:00 to 12:00

WED 07/10/20 Wave Equations and light-matter interaction (reflection, refraction, dispersion, interference) (SACCONI)
WED 14/10/20 Ray optics, lenses, optical systems, matrix optics (CAPITANIO)
WED 21/10/20 Contrast mechanisms: absorption, scattering, fluorescence (SACCONI)
WED 28/10/20 Optical microscopy, magnification, resolution (SILVESTRI)
WED 04/11/20 Wide field, confocal, and non-linear microscopies (CICCHI)
WED 11/11/20 Detectors and processing of digital images (SILVESTRI)


Spectroscopy (3 CFU), G. Santambrogio

Held remotely in Spring 2020

  Orders of magnitude, units, Boltzmann distribution, lineshapes 
  Review of quantum mechanics, basic spectroscopic techniques, sub-Doppler spectroscopy 
  Born Oppenheimer approximation
  Atoms and molecules in static fields
  Frequency resolution, Ramsey
  Time resolution, pump and probe
Light-matter interaction (3 CFU), A. Zavatta
Science communication* (3 CFU), F. Scazza

Courses at LENS in 2021

Microscopy and Imaging (advanced) (3 CFU), R. Cicchi
Spectroscopy (3 CFU), G. Santambrogio
Light-matter interaction (3 CFU), A. Zavatta
Science communication* (3 CFU), F. Scazza


*Course valid for “soft and complementary skills”