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Division 4

Division 4 which is responsible for optics is home to three base units: that of length, time and luminous intensity. On this basis, standards and measuring methods of highest accuracy are developed for various optical quantities.



Division "Optics" supports industry, science and society by providing measurement services, research and development in the field of optical technology. Based on the SI units of length, time and luminous intensity different units are realized and disseminated. Further more, accurate standards and measurement techniques are developed.

The division realizes the time scale UTC (PTB), which is the legal time in the Federal Republic of Germany, performs precision measurements in different fields of optics and cooperates in international standardisation and certification.


Two-way satellite time and frequency transfer (TWSTFT) is a primary technique for the generation of coordinated universal time (UTC). At present, more than 12 timing laboratories around the world use SAtellite Time and Ranging Equipment (SATRE) modems in TWSTFT operations and contribute data for the realization of UTC. The advantages of TWSTFT are its small calibration uncertainty (≤1.0 ns if the link is calibrated with a TWSTFT mobile station) and its long-term link stability. However, the precision of SATRE TWSTFT in the operational networks is degraded by a daily variation pattern (diurnal) in the TWSTFT results. The diurnal with varying amplitude appears virtually in all SATRE TWSTFT links. The observed peak-to-peak variation of the diurnals can reach 2.0 ns in some cases. So far, studies on the sources of the diurnal have not provided conclusive understanding of the diurnal's dominant origin.

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Single-photon sources are set to be a fundamental tool for metrological applications as well as for quantum information related technologies. Because of their upcoming widespread dissemination, the need for their characterization and standardization is becoming of the utmost importance. Here, we illustrate a strategy to provide a quantitative estimate of the multi-photon component of a single-photon source, showing the results achieved in a pilot study for the measurement of the second-order autocorrelation function g(2)(0) of a low-noise CW heralded single photon source prototype (operating at telecom wavelength λ = 1550 nm) realized in INRiM. The results of this pilot study, involving INRiM, NPL and PTB, will help to build a robust and unambiguous procedure for the characterization of the emission of a single-photon source.

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Bericht über den Stand der pränormativen Aktivitäten in CIE JTC 12 "The measurement of sparkle and graininess" und über neuartige definierte Proben zur Charakterisierung von Messapparaturen und -verfahren.

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