Optical Technologies

© T. Wolfer / PlanOS

The twenty-first century will be the age of optics. Our daily life is shaped by optics – more than most people are aware of. The human eye is both our most important and our most complex sensory organ. Without optical technologies, there would be no cameras, no microscopes and no telescopes, but also no internet, no Instagram and no YouTube. By using optical technologies, humanity can control the formation, propagation and transformation of electromagnetic radiation in a spectral range from far infrared to X-rays.

Leibniz University Hannover recognises 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 detecting gravitational waves within the scope of ground-breaking international experiments. 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, whilst researchers in the fields of mechanical and electrical engineering manufacture and control optical components and systems.

The Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD focuses on interdisciplinary collaboration between these fields in order to realise tomorrow’s digital optics, such as using computer technology in the material simulation, design and production of optical systems, as well as for implementing them.