Basic knowledge of optics (geometrical optics, physical optics, interference, diffraction), Fourier transforms, astronomical observing techniques and computer programming is required.
This course will teach Astronomy and Physics master's students the foundations of modern optical instruments including advanced concepts in geometrical and physical optics, optical design, and instrumentation. The course is the cornerstone of the Astronomy and Instrumentation master's specialisation. For students who have NOT followed the Astronomy bachelor's course Astronomical Observing Techniques (AOT) it is mandatory to follow the AOT crash-course during the first week, as indicated in the Astronomy master schedules.
The following topics will be covered in lectures and exercises:
Foundations of optics
Interference, diffraction and Fourier optics
Thin films and coatings
Students will be able to:
Understand the principles of modern optical instruments in astronomy
Explain the operations of state-of-the-art optical instruments
Design simple astronomical instruments
You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.
MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).
For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.
Mode of instruction
Written exam: 60%, see the Astronomy master examination schedules
Homework assignments: 20%
Retake exams will be oral. Homework assignments and presentation will still count for the final grade.
Field Guide to Astronomical Instrumentation, by Keller, Navarro, Brandl, published by SPIE (recommended)
Optics, by Eugene Hecht, published by Addison Wesley (recommended)
From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.
Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.
Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.
Please note that this is a mandatory course for all master's students who follow the Astronomy and Instrumentation specialisation.
In this course, students will be trained in the following behaviour-oriented skills:
Problem solving (recognizing and analyzing problems, solution-oriented thinking)
Analytical skills (analytical thinking, abstraction, evidence)
Structured thinking (structure, modulated thinking, computational thinking, programming)
Responsibility (ownership, self-discipline, bear mistakes, accountability)
Motivation (commitment, pro-active attitude, initiative)
Self-regulation (independence, self-esteem, aware of own goals, motives and capacities)
Verbal communication (presenting, speaking, listening)
Critical thinking (asking questions, check assumptions)
Creative thinking (resourcefulness, curiosity, thinking out of the box)