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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.

4 Abteilungsbericht aus dem Jahresbericht 2020

Der Initiates file downloadAbteilungsbericht gibt einen Überblick über die wichtigsten Nachrichten und Ereignisse der Abteilung „Optik“ des letzten Jahres und ergänzt somit den Opens internal link in current windowJahresbericht-2020 der PTB.


The tilted-wave interferometer is an interferometrical measurement system for the accurate optical form measurement of optical aspheres and freeform surfaces. Its evaluation procedure comprises a high-dimensional inverse problem to reconstruct the form of the surface under test from measured data. Recent work has used a deep learning hybrid approach to solve the inverse problem successfully in a simulation environment. A quantification of the model uncertainty was incorporated using ensemble techniques. In this paper, we expand the application of the deep learning approach from simulations to measured data and show that it produces results similar to those of a state-of-the-art method in a real-world environment.

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Das Phasenrauschen hochfrequenter Signale wird in der Regel durch einen Vergleich des zu untersuchenden Signals mit einem rauscharmen Referenzsignal gleicher Frequenz gemessen. Bei kommerziellen Phasenrauschmessplätzen wird dieses Referenzsignal durch einen über einen weiten Frequenzbereich abstimmbaren Oszillator erzeugt. Dadurch wird die Messung zum einen durch den Frequenzbereich des Referenzoszillators, der bei typischen Geräten nur einige GHz beträgt, und zum anderen durch sein Rauschen beschränkt.
An der PTB wurde ein neuartiges System entwickelt, das es ermöglicht, zur Phasenrauschmessung Mikrowellensignale bis zu einer Frequenz von 100 GHz in den MHz-Bereich zu konvertieren.

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The EMPIR Project “Supporting smart specialisation and stakeholder linkage in Photometry and Radiometry (Smart PhoRa)” has started on September 1st, 2021, for an 18-month funding period.

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Offers for Students

As is the case at PTB in general, in Division Optics there is the possibility to write a student thesis, to complete an internship or to participate in research as a working student. If you are interested in the topics and projects of the working group, you can first contact the Opens external link in new windowcentral contact persons and mention the working group as a request.
Offers for Doctoral Candidates

As at PTB in general, Division Optics is active in many collaborations (with link to new Div. collaboration page) with universities, research institutions, industry and other metrology institutes worldwide. These collaborations support many exciting third-party funding opportunities for PhD students to become involved in PTB research. If you are interested in the topics and projects of the working groups, you can first inquire at the Opens external link in new windowjob postings.