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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 Max-Planck-RIKEN-PTB Center for Time, Constants, and Fundamental Symmetries holds a workshop on recent advances on Tuesday March 9th, 2021, with the following speakers:

Ichiro Ushijima (RIKEN): Transportable optical lattice clocks with 18 digit precision
Richard Lange (PTB): Improved Limits for Violations of Local Position Invariance and Local Lorentz Invariance from Atomic Clocks
Peter Micke (PTB): Coherent laser spectroscopy of highly charged ions using quantum logic
Matthew Anders Bohman (MPIK/RIKEN): Sympathetic Cooling of Trapped Protons
Antonia Schneider (MPIK): High-precision measurement of the hyperfine structure of 3He+ in a Penningtrap
Kathrin Kromer (MPIK): Latest results of the high-precision mass measurements with PENTATRAP
Jack Devlin (CERN/RIKEN): Constraining the coupling between axion-like dark matter and photons using an antiproton superconducting detection circuit in a cryogenic Penning trap

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In the finalized project BiRD JRP 16NRM08 (https://www.birdproject.eu), funded by the EU program EURAMET EMPIR Call 2016 – „Metrology Research for Pre‐ and Co‐normative projects“, basic research was carried out on such measurands which determine the appearance of products. These are, amongst color and its angle-dependent distribution also gloss, sparkle, and graininess. The term sparkle describes the specific appearance of surfaces which can be observed under directed illumination by reflection of point-like scattering centers and is similar to the appearance of sparkling stars in the night-sky. This effect is generated e.g. by high-reflective microparticles, which are embedded in the lacquer coat of a surface. Well-known examples are metallic automobile coatings. Graininess describes the appearance of such surfaces when illuminated diffusely [1]. Although the sparkle-effect is widely applied in industrial production, there is no...

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In the project BxDiff JRP 18SIB03 (https://bxdiff.cmi.cz/), which is supported within the EU program EURAMET EMPIR Call 2018 - SI Broader Scope, measurement systems in the status of national standard facilities are created to perform BTDF - (Bidirectional transmittance distribution function) and BSSRDF - (Bidirectional surface scattering distribution function) investigations. PTB funds therein the development of a dedicated BTDF measurement facility in terms of a so-called “Größtgerät” (strategic investment). Main aims of the 17 involved partners stemming from national metrology institutes, research and university institutes, and material processing companies, are to close the measurement-technology gap for the mentioned measurands as well as to expand existing techniques into currently not accessible regimes. For example, it is envisaged to apply BRDF (Bidirectional reflectance distribution function) measurements to small samples with...

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