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. Students who have not followed the bachelor's course Astronomical Observing Techniques (AOT) are advised to follow the AOT crash-course during the first week.
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
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)
Mode of instruction
Written exam: 60%
Homework assignments: 20%
Retake exams will be oral. Homework assignments and presentation will still count for the final grade.
Blackboard will be used to communicate with students. To have access, you need an ULCN account. More information:
Field Guide to Astronomical Instrumentation, Keller, Navarro & Brandl, ISBN 9781628411775 (recommended)
Optics, Hecht, ISBN 9781292096933 (recommended)
Please note that this is a mandatory course for all master's students who follow the Astronomy and Instrumentation specialisation.