Optical Technologies

© T. Wolfer / PlanOS

The twenty-first century will be the age of optics. Our daily life is shaped by optics – far more than most people are aware. The human eye is both our most important and our most complex sensory organ. Without optical technologies, there would not only be no cameras, no microscopes and no telescopes, but also no internet, no Instagram and no YouTube. Using optical technologies, humans can influence the formation, propagation and transformation of electromagnetic radiation in a spectral range from far infrared to X-rays.

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Leibniz University Hannover has recognised the importance of optical technologies by establishing a separate key research area. Laser technology is particularly important in Hannover. LUH researchers have played – and continue to play – a key role in developing lasers and laser measurement technology for ground-breaking international experiments to detect gravitational waves. Typically, optics is a branch of physics. However, other disciplines are increasingly involved in numerous research and development projects. For example, chemistry makes a significant contribution to research and development in the field of new optic materials, while researchers in the fields of mechanical and electrical engineering contribute to the manufacture and operation of optical components and systems.

The PhoenixD Cluster of Excellence focuses on interdisciplinary collaboration between these fields in order to realise tomorrow’s digital optics. The broad application of computer technology ranges from material simulation to the design, production and implementation of optical systems.